Walking inside a radio with Tiger
By Buck Harvey on Aug 17, 09 09:15 PM
A.J. Montecinos asked Tiger Woods a question on the fifth hole. Montecinos was playing around; he already knew the answer.
"Is it always like this?" Montecinos asked.
"Now you know why I don't play every week," Tiger replied.
Montecinos, a San Antonio resident, has been around golf a long time. He carried Y.E. Yang's bag when Yang won the Honda Classic in March, and he was with Yang at the Masters and the rest of the year's schedule. But he had never seen anything like a Sunday at a major, in the final group, with Tiger.
"It was like walking inside a radio," Montecinos said Monday. "Every step you take, you hear someone screaming to your left or your right. The electricity ... it was something special."
That's why, usually, Tiger has an edge. He's accustomed to the madness while his opponent is overwhelmed. Think of the dynamics -- Tiger's caddie is better known than Yang.
Yang's caddie was invisible to most. But Montecinos was there on the 17th green, after Yang 3-putted from 20 feet, to tell Yang what he always tells him in these moments.
"No problem," Montecinos said.
It's a minimalist relationship. Yang doesn't like to think too much on a golf course, and Montecinos tries not to complicate the equation. Before Yang's spectacular approach on No. 18, for example, Yang asked for the 3-hybrid.
"I was actually thinking 4," Montecinos said. "I was worrying about catching a flier out of the first cut."
But Montecinos knew enough to back off and let his player react. "He's strong all by himself," Montecinos said. "He's got the toughest mind I've ever been around. He knew what he had to do." Buck Harvey on Sports