124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


How a would-be caddie at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am found his way into the field

February 08, 2019
Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship - Round Two

Christian Petersen

John Rollins was set to work the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. While he was at the office Thursday, his job description drastically changed.

The 43-year-old Rollins has made over 425 starts on the PGA Tour, boasting three wins and $18 million in career earnings. But he lost his tour card in 2014 and appeared in just 15 tournaments over the 2017 and 2018 seasons. So when friend Hunter Mahan asked Rollins if he could caddie for him in this week's event, Rollins signed up.

However, a host of players withdrew during the week, and most of the alternates were some 2,500 miles away in Panama City, competing at the Web.com Tour's Panama Championship. Coupled with the case of Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey—whose clubs made it from Atlanta, but the player himself did not—Rollins received a phone call early on Thursday morning.

“I looked at my phone and saw PGA Tour headquarters and I thought, ‘What would the PGA Tour be calling me at 5:30 for?'" Rollins told PGATour.com's Jim McCabe.

Despite Rollins being outside the top 20 tournament alternates, Gainey's WD bestowed Rollins a spot in the pro-am field. A mere three hours before he was set to tee off.

After getting the green-light from Mahan, Rollins was able to corral Kevin Hanssen, lead instructor at the Pebble Beach Golf Academy, to serve as his caddie. With little prep work—Rollins hadn't hit balls in a week—he managed to turn in a one-over 73 at Pebble Beach.

“I didn’t play terribly,” Rollins said to McCabe. “Actually, I was OK, everything considered.”

And while losing his bag man at the last minute could have thrown him for a loop, Mahan fared okay too, turning in a one-under 71 at Spyglass.