SI Vault
 
Swede Success
Gary Van Sickle
May 03, 1999
A new caddie, new irons and a hot putter allowed Jesper Parnevik to flaunt his old form in Greensboro
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
May 03, 1999

Swede Success

A new caddie, new irons and a hot putter allowed Jesper Parnevik to flaunt his old form in Greensboro

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3

Ten Broeck, who spends his winters on Singer Island, off the coast of south Florida, and occasionally plays rounds with Parnevik, who lives in nearby Jupiter, heard about the split and asked for the job. "Jesper said, 'Are you sure you want to do this?' " said Ten Broeck. "I said, 'I'd love to. I'll do a good job for you.' " Ten Broeck looked over all of Parnevik's putts but offered his opinion only when asked. "It's kind of like a first date," Ten Broeck said. "You don't want to get too fresh."

The results say it best. Parnevik ranked second in putting (behind Furyk) and needed only 99 putts for the week (Furyk had 96, three off the Tour record). By way of comparison Tom Lehman finished fifth, 10 shots back, and took 113 putts. "If I can putt this way at Pinehurst, I'll probably win," Parnevik joked when asked about the June 17-20 U.S. Open, which will take place 75 miles south of Greensboro.

The caddying job was Ten Broeck's first since 1970, when he looped for George Archer in the Western Open. "George played with Tommy Bolt and Jack Nicklaus the first two days," Ten Broeck said. "I was 14 and learned some new words from Bolt." His fee that week was $90. "You had to shag balls then, too, and George Archer practiced more than anybody. I was out there until dark every night."

Oddly, the three top finishers at Greensboro all used fill-in caddies. Furyk had Jeff Manson, a former teammate at Arizona, on his bag as a one-week replacement for Mike (Fluff) Cowan, who had planned a golf vacation in Scotland for the week of Greensboro, a tournament that his former employer, Tiger Woods, was certain to skip. Jeff Maggert, who finished third, eight shots back, gave his regular caddie the week off so his girlfriend, Michelle Austin, who lives in Greensboro, could give caddying a try. "We talked about it three or four months ago," said Maggert. "She wanted to know if she could caddie sometime. I said, 'How about in your hometown?' I was teasing her because she was reading through the caddie regulations and it said to be sure to negotiate your salary early in the week. She said, 'Oh, you don't have to pay me for doing it.' I was like, 'O.K., you said it, not me.' " Maggert won $176,800.

Ten Broeck was celebrating with Johannson when Parnevik accepted the winner's trophy from Sam Snead, who has won this event a Tour-record eight times. "You have to figure out what you're going to do with 50 grand," Johannson told Ten Broeck. "Man, you made three times more than I did this week."

"Aw, poor baby," Ten Broeck replied. "I need it three times more than you do."

Johansson then asked Ten Broeck if he wanted to caddie for Parnevik for the rest of the year. "Yeah," Ten Broeck said, smiling. "Absolutely." Johansson agreed that they made a good team.

It was a memorable Sunday for Team Sweden. Jarmo Sandelin, born in Finland but a Swedish citizen, won the Spanish Open on the European tour. Magnus Norman won tennis's U.S. Clay Court Championships in Orlando and wore a hat with the bill flipped up a la Jesper. At the trophy ceremony he told the crowd, " Jesper Parnevik is leading the PGA tournament down in Houston [oops]: Go, Jesper!"

Parnevik received two other messages. One was from Snead, who told Parnevik that he considered Greensboro a second home and that if Parnevik ever wanted to come back, he should "just holler for old Sam." Johansson made a small sign for the award ceremony that said, OPUS ONE, HERE WE COME.

Opus One is a fine cabernet sauvignon, and Johannson had brought a bottle of it in a bucket of ice (somewhere, Baron Phillip de Rothschild was cringing) to the pressroom as his friend spoke with reporters. Just like the victory cigar, it was a nice gesture to cap a remarkable week for Parnevik, the master of the unexpected and the inexplicable.

Continue Story
1 2 3