Lexi Thompson comes into the 75th U.S. Women’s Open, her 14th appearance, with a new putter and a new (but temporary) caddie. That new caddie happens to be the man who loops for Bryson DeChambeau, Tim Tucker. Thompson and DeChambeau share the same agent and he connected the pair.
Thompson, 25, doesn’t carry a yardage book on the golf course. She relies on her caddie for numbers and needs a small fraction of the information that DeChambeau, the 2020 U.S. Open winner, requires to go about his job.
“The first day that we went out, he has all the green density, the air density, and has that all factored in, and you know, it was unbelievable,” said Thompson. “Like the first two holes he said, it’s going to play this number. And I trusted it and I hit it so close, and it was a perfect number.
“But I’m like, maybe I should just have another – like the actual pin number in my head just for my sanity. But it’s unbelievable what he calculates. I’m truly amazed. I’m like, just keep it to yourself; just tell me what you think the shot will play.”
Thompson is in the market for a new caddie after her old one, Benji Thompson (no relation), left to work for Kevin Chappell on the PGA Tour. Aside from getting her the correct numbers, personality is the most important thing Thompson looks for in a bagman. She wants a best friend by her side.
Thompson’s brother, Curtis, who won for the first time on the Korn Ferry Tour this year, will be on her bag next week at the CME Group Tour Championship. He’s also been helping Thompson with her short game in the run-up to this event.
Stacy Lewis has had the same caddie, Travis Wilson, for 12 years so she wouldn’t know what it’s like to adjust to a new one during a major. But learning two golf courses and adjusting to a new caddie in three days can certainly present its challenges.
“I mean, the hardest thing I guess would be that trust factor of knowing that he knows what he’s talking about kind of thing,” said Lewis. “Travis knows what shape of shot I see.”
Thompson said Tucker has great energy and that they’ve shared plenty of laughs so far. They spent time together several years ago when Thompson partnered with DeChambeau in the QBE Shootout.
Thompson’s success in this event will come down to the one area that has kept her from winning a U.S. Women’s Open: her putter.
The 11-time tour winner put a new TaylorMade Spider putter in the bag and switched back to a conventional grip. She also moved a little closer to the ball.
“I think I’m better with a bit more of a mallet in reducing face rotation,” she said.
Thompson finished runner-up to Jeongeun Lee6 at last year’s Women’s Open. She ranked fourth in the field in driving distance and third in greens in regulation. But her putts per green in regulation told the story: T-34.
As the 2020 season winds down, Thompson has a personal streak on the line. She has won at least one tournament every season since 2013.
The American star has two tournaments left to keep it alive.