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HOYLAKE, England — If you happen to watch this week’s Open Championship, you would possibly discover that one of many contenders has a well-recognized face on the bag.
If you cannot fairly place Sepp Straka’s caddy, that is as a result of it is solely the pair’s second occasion collectively. However his identify is Duane Bock and he’s often seen with Kevin Kisner, who has been his boss for the higher a part of a decade. Collectively they fashioned one of the vital iconic duos on the PGA Tour, profitable a number of occasions, competing in dozens extra and qualifying for 2 totally different Presidents’ Cups.
However Kisner hasn’t fairly been himself because the 2022 Presidents Cup; his finest result’s T29 and his final six begins embrace 4 missed cuts and two WDs. Final we noticed of Kisner, he shot seven for 42 to the entrance on the Vacationers Championship earlier than dying of an undisclosed sickness.
Now Kisner is transferring away from the Tour a bit. For what? He mentioned it succinctly on Twitter final month: “Bc im sucking proper now,” he wrote.
As for the query of when he’ll return?
“After I can beat par at dwelling constantly.”
Lengthy story brief, Kisner’s caddy had some availability on his fingers. And Kisner’s fellow Georgia Bulldog Sepp Straka was in search of a caddy and in search of some mojo, too, after a three-event streak of MC-T38-T64.
Straka introduced Bock in with the understanding that the 2 would play the John Deere Basic and the Open Championship. It could be an understatement to say that the Deere did effectively; Straka was on 59 watches on Sunday and finally posted a remaining 62 to earn an unimaginable victory from behind, the second win of his PGA Tour profession.
“At my finest, I really feel like I can compete with anyone,” he mentioned after the win.
His recreation additionally crossed the pond effectively, as did his new partnership. Over three rounds, he sat at 5 beneath par, tying for fourth place. He credited his recreation after the inning, but additionally shouted out his new caddy.
“Yeah, I’ve recognized Duey for some time now since he was a caddy for a pal of mine, Kis,” he mentioned. “And Kis is taking somewhat break so I believed I would borrow him for a bit. It labored out effectively. I like Duey. He is an incredible caddy, and I am actually glad to have him on the bag.
Straka defined that he appreciated Bock’s unwavering dedication to the duty at hand.
“I feel he does an incredible job of sticking to at least one shot at a time. He is a really skilled man and he at all times likes to have enjoyable, however whether or not I am 2 or taking part in rather well, he is unchanged,” he mentioned. “He is good at not exhibiting any type of emotion a method or one other. He is on (to) the following transfer it doesn’t matter what.
It is arduous to think about a greater player-caddie begin than a PGA Tour victory adopted by a top-five outcome at a serious match. And now? Participant-caddie relationships on the PGA Tour are an interesting mixture of short-term, long-term and unsure. This one is new, so it is comprehensible that it is unsure. However to this point so good.
When requested if he is aware of how lengthy the pair plan to work collectively, Straka hinted it was in that in-between zone.
“It isn’t protected, sure,” he mentioned. “To be decided – however within the foreseeable future.”
It isn’t obscure why.