'Hopper' tells all

Q&A with Glen 'Hopper' Murray, the man tipped to be Sergio Garcia's caddie.

Martin Park
Tue, 28 Mar 2000
'Hopper' tells all

NAME: Glen 'Hopper' Murray
PLAYER: Retief Goosen…soon to be Sergio Garcia.

How did you first start caddieing on tour?
My first bag on tour was Andre Bossert and I worked for him for two years from 1993. He taught me everything that I needed to know on the golf course. He was paying in a tournament near Durban and he asked me if I would like to caddie for him in Europe, so I said yes!

What was you first paycheque?
I think I started on £300 per week, but our first five tournaments, we missed the cut!

What is you favourite event?
The Dunhill Cup, without a doubt. The whole tournament is great, and with two wins there (with South Africa) and when you have someone like Ernie Els in your side, you never think you are going to lose.
We always think that there is one point on the board, so only one of the others has to score to win the match!

Which tour event has the best social life in the evening?
St Andrews is good, but nothing beats Ireland, especially Dublin at the Murphys Irish Open.

Your favourite drink?
Kronenbourg 1664!

What is the best thing about being a caddie?
You get to carry the bag around and say what you think but not having the same pressure on you as the player. As long as you call the club right, you don’t get fired.

What is the worst thing about being a caddie?
When things are not going well on the golf course and you player is playing badly. When he is making bad swings at it, it is so hard to club him and keep the guys chin up.

What is you proudest moment on tour?
Definitely the two Dunhill Cup wins, but the French Open at Medoc comes very close. ‘Goose’ had worked well with his psychologist and it turned him round. We worked well also and it was a great week for us both.

What is the most important decision you and your boss have ever made?
At the Dunhill Cup last year, we played a five iron into the 17th hole and tried to land it in or on top of the slope before the green. We aimed at the third flagpole from the right and he played it perfectly. We went on to win against ‘Santy’ (Luna) but only after he made a great up and down on the 17th from the other side of the bunker. But ‘Goose hit it to twenty feet on the 18th to win the match.

Have you ever been sacked?
No, never.

What type of course do you prefer to caddie on?
Well, it is a funny combination, Retief likes to play on American style courses, but I prefer the links style where you have to think a little more. Coming from Durban, where it is always windy, I take control in the wind.

Do you play golf?
Yes, I struggle off about four handicap.

How do you feel when you boss takes his frustrations out on you?
He doesn’t. We try to get it right out there, so it is nobody’s fault, if it wrong, it’s wrong, he doesn’t blame it on me at all.

If you could caddie for anyone else in the history of the game, who would it be?
Either Ernie or Monty.

Which caddie is the best golfer on tour?
It has to be Jimmy Johnstone, Nick Price’s caddie. He used to be a good pro.

What was your most embarrassing moment on tour?
That’s easy, in my first tournament, I forget to rake a bunker. I was working for Andre Bossert and I got a £150 fine from the tour.

You are on the final hole of a major and in contention, what would you say to your player?
I don’t think there would be anything to say, I would just try to keep him thinking clearly. If he has to make par to win, I will make sure I putt my point across so that he knows what I think.

What is you nickname?
Hopper. The other guys think I bounce up and down when I walk!

Have you ever been tempted to laugh if a player in your group makes an error?
Tempted? I have laughed my head off. Michael Besanceny, at the French Open on the 16th, he skied his shot about fifty metres in the air. All the caddies looked at each other and everyone burst out laughing. He wasn’t happy and he turned round and said ‘I think I deserve a little more respect than that’.