AUGUSTA, Ga. -- I got to the caddie area right after Sergio Garcia and Glen Murray had beaten Justin Rose and Mark "Fooch" Fulcher in the playoff to win. The area was full of caddies, along with a prominent player watching the closing festivities on TV.
After about 10 minutes of waiting, Murray walked in, carrying his green adidas golf bag and dressed in the signature white jumpsuit. The place erupted in applause, and Murray smiled sheepishly as he put the bag over near the lockers reserved for the caddies.
Someone said, "Get that man a beer!"
Another chimed in, "Get him two!"
After putting down the bag, Murray sat at a table next to another caddie, took a deep breath and took a sip of one of the two beers that had been set in front of him. His eyes were red, perhaps from tears. Or maybe from the pollen. But he looked like a man who had just successfully completed a gargantuan task and couldn't believe the job was done.
"I thought I'd be more emotional," he said to no one in particular.
Caddies began coming over to offer their congratulations as they filed out, many on to the next tournament, some going home for rest. Glen spent some time on the phone and accepting kudos between sips of beer.
That's when Fooch walked in to change out of his white jumpsuit. There was no tension in the room, no malice. Fooch congratulated Glen, and the winning caddie joked, "You guys already have one." Even the losing caddie had to smile and laugh at that.
After a bit, as the place cleared out, we watched the ceremony on TV, as Danny Willett slipped the jacket onto Sergio Garcia's shoulders.
When I asked Murray how long he'd been caddying for Garcia he said, "Almost from the beginning." There were a couple of caddies before he started with Garcia and a point when they took a year and a half break, but for most of Garcia's professional career, it's been Murray carrying the bag. I watched him as he enjoyed the moment his boss got to have at the podium: pride, joy, exhaustion and contentment, all mixed together on his face.
When the ceremony finished, an attendant asked if Murray wanted to take a shower.
"There's showers here?" Murray asked. "That'd be great. Any chance you guys have a T-shirt?"
"Yeah, sure, it's a white one."
"Uh, no thanks. I have white shorts. I'll look like I'm playing cricket."
Following a quick shower, the winning caddie cleaned out his locker, asked about where he could keep the golf bag and got ready to head up to the clubhouse. He thanked all the attendants for taking such good care of him and was off to celebrate being a major-winning caddie.
It's a very small fraternity, the caddies who have flags from the 18th hole of a major. Glen Murray now has one from the Masters.