ERIN, Wis. -- After Nick Flanagan shot 68-63 last week in Dallas to qualify for the U.S. Open one of the first people he thought about was fellow Aussie Aron Price.
The two are good friends and former roommates, and last year with Flanagan slowed by injuries the two made a deal that if Price qualified for the U.S. Open at Oakmont -- where Flanagan won a U.S. Amateur 13 years earlier -- that Flanagan would carry his bag for the week.
Fast forward 12 months, and the two have reversed roles this week at Erin Hills with Price agreeing to caddie after the birth of his second child three months ago and without playing status on the PGA Tour.
“I think he’ll be great,” Flanagan said of Price. “He’s one of the smarter fellows I know out here, and he’s got a good sense of humor.”
The big difference from last year to this is neither player has any knowledge of Erin Hills.
Then again, no one does.
“I wouldn’t have been offended if he got a more experienced guy,” said Price. “It worked out.”
It won’t be the first time Price has been on a bag.
A few years ago when another Australian, Matt Jones, was between caddies, Price caddied for him in the Players Championship.
The biggest thing he learned in that experience? When to offer advice and when not to. It’s a fine line.
“Seeing it from the other side rather than being guy hitting shots is a huge perspective change,” said Flanagan, who will be playing in his second U.S. Open, and his first since 2004. “You can see little things that if we just did this or just did that could’ve saved himself three or four shots. Pricey has been around, he knows that.”
As for whether Price would consider caddying full-time, he’s not completely opposed to the idea. For now, he's just looking forward to this week.
“He did great last year,” Price said of Flanagan. “The only mistakes were my own. He was good. Hopefully I’m half as good.”