Lindsey Weaver created a stir and scored a ton of new fans at Royal Troon when she pushed her own cart in brutal conditions at the AIG Women’s British Open and contended on the weekend.
She plans to do the same next week at the ANA Inspiration, where early-week temperatures are forecasted as high as 115 degrees.
The scene at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course will offer a new look too as caddies now have the option to take carts and push carts in the grueling desert heat.
The LPGA’s Steve Eubanks reported that LPGA Chief Tour Operations Officer Heather Daly-Donofrio sent out a memo to players on Thursday informing them of the change in policy.
“Projected temperatures next week will range from 105-115 and we are very conscious of the high heat,” Daly-Donofrio wrote. “2020 has been the year of health and safety, and with that in mind, we will be allowing caddies to take carts for the week.”
While caddies can take carts all week, players can only use them in practice rounds.
When the LPGA restarted its season after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the tour made taking a caddie optional for the rest of 2020. Weaver got her old AJGA push cart out of her parents’ garage for the restart at Inverness Club and has enjoyed the simplicity of walking the fairways solo. Next week’s forecast doesn’t concern her.
“When I first came to Arizona and we were playing junior golf,” said Weaver, who moved to desert at age 11, “it was 124 degrees, pushing carts, carrying bags.”
David Brooker, who has jumped into Poppie’s Pond with three different winners at the ANA (Grace Park, Lorena Ochoa and Jin Young Ko), said he won’t be taking a cart for competition rounds.
“I’m fit enough to navigate the heat,” he said. “Taking a cart or a push cart is disruptive to my routine.”
Jason Hamilton, who is back working for Lydia Ko and won with her at the 2016 ANA, said he won’t take a cart either.
“More hassle than it’s worth,” Hamilton said in a text.
Travis Wilson, longtime caddie of Stacy Lewis, who won the 2011 ANA, likes the idea of being able to haul ice and towels in a cart.
“I’ll use it as long as they let me,” he texted.
Missy Pederson sent a message to her boss, two-time ANA winner Brittany Lincicome, on Thursday: “We are not taking a cart!”
Regardless of the wheels, all caddies will be relieved to know that the traditional white jumpsuits have been traded for bibs this year. The LPGA also noted that 1,500 cooling towels have been purchased for players, caddies, staff and volunteers.