Goddard living the dream at Pebble Beach
FOLLOWING Tiger Woods around Pebble Beach on a Sunday afternoon was the perfect calm before a US Open storm for the major championship's newest caddie Brendon Goddard.
The former St Kilda and Essendon star is living out a sporting fantasy carrying the bag for veteran Aussie Marcus Fraser at the $18 million event after a whirlwind few days.
Fraser, who has scaled back his golfing commitments this year, qualified for his fourth US Open, and first since 2015, in England last week.
The 40-year-old immediately made good on an offer for sometime playing partner Goddard, who caddied for him last year in Hong Kong, to join him.
Some furious phone calls to organise babysitting, flights and a passport last Friday resulted in Goddard and his wife, Rosie, arriving in the US on Saturday night.
He and Fraser then hit the course, as Rosie enjoyed some on-course physio, one of the perks of working at a major championship, and followed Masters champ Woods around the famed Californian layout.
It was the first time confessed golf "nuffie" Goddard had ever been to Pebble Beach and while he took the time to soak it all in, his mind was never far from the job at hand.
"My first look at it is for the US Open, as a caddie," Goddard told the Herald Sun from the US.
"You hear the hype about it and read about all the rankings, but it outdid my expectations. It's a different beast when they set it up for a US Open, but I was really impressed by it, blown away.
"That's what I looked forward to the most getting in Sunday. To come and just get entrenched in the whole week and the preparation. It's next level stuff. It's a pretty special week."
Fraser, now 461 in the rankings and $601 to win the US Open after becoming a part-time professional, surprised himself by qualifying courtesy of a "red hot" putter.
He landed in the US late last week and has hit more than 2000 balls on the practice range in a bid for both he and his caddie to make the most of their unexpected opportunity.
"We've always spoken about the opportunities to caddie, as (Fraser) wound his career down," Goddard said.
"But the opportunity for him playing in majors was winding down, purely based on the amount of golf he was paying. That's why it's pretty exciting, not just for me, but for Frase too, and neither of us will be taking it for granted."
Which, for Goddard, also means taking the time to be a "fan boy" before the real business starts.
"One of the things I love is having direct access to the range and the practice areas," he said. "While Frase is hitting balls I can walk up and down the range and watch whoever is there.
"If there's any opportunity to go plonk next to Tiger or one of the top-10 players in the world, when we walk on to the range I will be steering Frase there."
Pebble Beach, June 13-16
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AUSSIES AT THE OPEN
$21 Jason Day
$26 Adam Scott
$41 Marc Leishman
$67 Cameron Smith
$151 Matt Jones
$201 Aaron Baddeley
$601 Brett Drewitt, Marcus Fraser