Random fan steps in, helps Brian Harman grab share of first-round lead
By Alex Myers
A 63 at the John Deere Classic usually isn't too newsworthy, but Brian Harman's opening round at TPC Deere Run had an interesting twist. After Harman's caddie, Scott Tway, got too sick to continue after six holes, the University of Georgia product had to turn elsewhere for help.
He didn't have to look very far.
A call went out for someone to carry Harman's bag and Jay Hatch, who was standing near the seventh tee, spoke up. "I can carry your bag if you don't need any help reading putts," Hatch, 48, told Harman according to PGATour.com.
Meet Jay Hatch: Substitute caddie and big Notre Dame fan.
The math teacher and coach at nearby Alleman High School certainly didn't slow down Harman, who apparently is pretty good at reading his own putts. Harman went six under over the final 12 holes to grab a share of the first-round lead with Zach Johnson and Rory Sabbatini.
"My man Jay came out and did a really good job," Harman said. "He was like a true pro out there."
But true pros get paid and Harman promised he'd send Hatch a check based on his winnings. Hatch, a recreational golfer who has coached his teams to state titles in basketball and softball, said he wouldn't accept the money.
Tway is expected to be back on Harman's bag for Friday's third round. Hatch seems happy with his brief, but successful stint as a tour caddie.
"I always wanted to be inside the ropes to see what it looked like from there," Hatch said. "You know that commercial where they say 'These guys are good?' They are way, way better than that."