Dalton State Golf Coach to Caddie at Masters
April 3, 2013
“It’s a dream come true.” That’s how Dalton State Golf Coach Ben Rickett describes his chance to caddie at this year’s Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta.
“As a golfer, you dream of playing at the Masters,” Rickett said. “For me, being a caddie is the next best thing. Most people just dream about going to Augusta, but to be on the other side of the ropes is going to be amazing.”
“We are extremely proud of Ben and all that he is doing for our program. He is a great coach and person. I am really glad that he gets this wonderful opportunity in Augusta,” says Dalton State Athletic Director Derek Waugh. “His appearance and experience at the Masters should also greatly enhance recruiting. If Steven Fox wins, I am going to put a clause in Ben’s contract where he is forced to wear a green jacket every day to the office.”
The Dalton State coach earned the honor last August when he was called in to caddie for Steven Fox at the 112th United States Amateur Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, near Denver. Rickett was an assistant coach at UTC, and Fox was one of his star players. Fox was in contention at the United States Amateur, and he knew he needed someone he trusted to carry his bag on as the tournament progressed and the intensity increased.
Rickett was called in for the final rounds, and the change was good for everyone involved, except tournament leader Michael Weaver. Fox, with Coach Rickett by his side, went on to capture the United States Amateur Championship. Fox had been down by two holes with two remaining. He went on to win holes 17 and 18 and the first extra hole to claim the Havemeyer Trophy in a play-off. The United States Amateur Championship carried with it a coveted invitation to the 2013 Masters.
“Ben is great to have on the bag,” says Fox. “He keeps my nerves down and I can talk to him about everything while out there on the course. Also, I have trust in him which is very valuable, knowing he won't steer me wrong on or off the course."
“I’m so absolutely proud to be in the Masters,” Fox said. “When you play golf, that’s the one thing you look forward to.” He has played several rounds at Augusta National, most recently for four days in March.
“When I practiced at Augusta National, there were some things that really got my attention,” Fox said. “You don’t see how wide number one is before the bunker. The bunkers on number five and that tee shot, it’s so big, you don’t see that on TV. At number 16, that pin, when they put it on the left, that’s tucked pretty good.”
Rickett has been so hard at work establishing the golf program at Dalton State, he has had little time to think about the amazing opportunity ahead of him. “It hasn’t really hit home,” he said. “I really have two once-in-a-lifetime things in my life going on right now, starting a golf program from scratch at Dalton State and being a part of the greatest golf tournament in the world.”
Practice rounds at Augusta National begin on Monday, April 8th. They will also be held on Tuesday and Wednesday. A popular par three contest will be held on Wednesday afternoon.
Live Masters television coverage begins on with the par three event. ESPN will broadcast from 3:00 until 5:00 p.m. They will also have coverage of Thursday and Friday rounds from 3:00 until 7:30 p.m.
CBS picks up the coverage for the weekend. Live action is scheduled for Saturday, April 13th, from 3:00 until 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 14th, from 2:00 until 7:00 p.m. Tournament pairings and tee times for the first two days are to be announced on Tuesday.