Sports

Fan steps in to caddie at Canadian Open in Hamilton

Paul Emerson only planned on watching the RBC Canadian Open from the gallery this weekend in Hamilton, but ended up caddying for one of the pros.

“My heart started pumping pretty good,” the Aurora, Ont. resident told CTV News Toronto in an interview.

On Sunday, C.T. Pan was in the middle of the third hole at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club when his caddie, Mike (Fluff) Cowan, slipped and injured himself.

Emerson, who was watching the tournament as a fan outside the ropes, offered to help.

“I simply said to C.T. Pan, ‘Do you need help?’ And he said, ‘Yes,’” Emerson recalled, adding that he had only ever caddied once before at the amateur level.

“Next thing you know, they said, ‘Get the bib off of Fluff.’ So I helped Fluff get the bib off…put the bib on and started walking up the hole.”

Emerson, who works as a lawyer but describes himself as a “golf nut,” was featured in the broadcast of the fourth round and caddied two holes for Pan. He birdied on the third hole and bogeyed on the fourth.

Asked if Emerson offered Pan any advice over the course of the two holes, he said he “didn’t even dare.”

“And I don’t think he was planning on asking in the time we were together,” Emerson said with a smile.

Paul Emerson, 50, carried the bag for Taiwan’s C.T. Pan for 2 holes at the Canadian Open in Hamilton, Ont., Sunday, June 2, 2024.

“The role really was, I think at that moment, was just provide help. That’s all I was reaching out to do. There was no reason to believe he would ask me for tips. And if he had ever seen me play, he would know not too.”

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A member of the caddie services team eventually subbed in for Emerson on the fifth hole, which he said was somewhat bittersweet as he wanted to keep going.

“I was having a great time and I was willing to do whatever (Pan) needed,” Emerson said.

Al Riddell, who lives in the area and caddies for Paul Barjon, came into caddy the final nine holes and served as Pan’s fourth bagman of the day.

Pan finished joint 35th with three under overall, which was 13 shots behind champion Robert MacIntyre

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