FORT WORTH, Texas -- Bo Van Pelt owes his success for getting through Monday's British Open qualifier to his caddie, Mark Chaney. That's according to Chaney, who wasn't even there.
Van Pelt finished second to Tim Petrovic by one stroke at the International Final Qualifier for the 136th British Open at St. Andrews, Scotland, with a 10-under 130 total over 36 holes at Gleneagles CC in Plano, Texas. Chaney, a 20-year veteran of the caddie ranks, stayed home in San Diego because of his track record in qualifiers, which is, he admits, abysmal.
"Believe me, I'm the kiss of death. I won't go to a qualifier," Chaney said Tuesday at Colonial CC, where Van Pelt is entered in the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. "I told Bo that I will be the biggest help to him by not going. I couldn't get Tiger Woods through a qualifier for the Tavistock Cup."
Chaney, who has caddied various players to more than 10 PGA Tour titles, has no explanation for why he has gone 0-for-career in qualifiers. Among those he has led to oblivion are two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and former PGA champion Jeff Sluman. The last straw came in 2007 when he caddied for Van Pelt in the U.S. Open qualifier in Columbus, Ohio. Van Pelt was playing well at the time.
"He said, 'this year I'm going to break the streak.' Then he shot like 12 over par," Chaney said. "I took the two-time U.S. Open champion (Strange) and couldn't get through. I mean, it's no use."
Chaney said he already has booked his travel for this year's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, even though Van Pelt again has to go through qualifying in Columbus, which is scheduled for June 7, the Monday after the Memorial Tournament. Chaney is confident his man can get through. Yes, because he is skipping it.
-- Dave Shedloski