Most every golfer dreams of some day finding their way into the Masters and Augusta National Golf Club. The dream is typically as a player. Sometimes, it’s just as a fan.
For Esteban Toledo, he’s realizing his dream, albeit in a different fashion than he imagined. He’s going to be a caddie.
Toledo, who had two runner-up finishes in eight seasons on the PGA Tour, is already a winner this year on PGA Tour Champions. He beat Billy Andrade in a playoff to win the Allianz Championship for his fourth win on the 50-plus circuit. However, those wins don’t earn the 53-year-old world ranking points and don’t get him any closer to earning a Masters invite. So, for a few years now, Toledo has been trying to find his way to Augusta National on a peer’s bag.
The Mexico native tried getting in as caddie for Ben Crenshaw, but it didn’t work. Gentle Ben, a two-time champion, decided 2015 would be his last Masters, and he wanted long-time caddie Carl Jackson on the bag.
Instead, Toledo found himself another Masters winner to loop for this week.
Toledo was on a beach in Los Cabos a few months ago when he received a text message from the 1988 champion Sandy Lyle.
“We’re going to walk those fairways together,” the message said, Toledo recalled on Monday, according to Masters.com.
Lyle had been approach by Toledo for the job on the range at a PGA Tour Champions event. He eventually agreed to Toledo’s proposal.
“This is all I thought it would be today, the prestige and honor to have the chance to walk these amazing fairways, hearing the roar of the people,” said Toledo, who takes the place of Lyle’s wife, Jolande, who had been caddying for her husband in the Masters in recent years.
However, the pro-turned-temporary-caddie isn’t in Augusta to just to look at the azaleas and make a run through the merchandise shop. He wants a full week inside the ropes.
“I’m here to do the job,” he said. “I want Sandy to play on Saturday and Sunday. I know I can help him, and he has the game to do it.”
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