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Sports

Teen gets chance to caddie for Open practice round

June 15, 2010

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— Teenager Jeffrey Aronson lucked into a thrilling opportunity at the U.S. Open: caddie for a practice round.

Aronson, a 13-year-old junior golfer who just finished seventh grade back home in Los Angeles, was with his mother, Shelly, watching players on the putting green Sunday when amateur Russell Henley approached him to see if he would carry his bag for Monday’s round at Pebble Beach.

“It’s a great way to kick off the summer,” Aronson said. “I’ll do whatever he needs, get range balls and carry his bags. It’s perfect.”

That was a no-brainer for a kid who picked up his first clubs at age 2. Now, he’s a first-time caddie.

“I did not imagine it at all,” said Aronson, who is at the Open only Monday and Tuesday. “I’m so happy right now, living in the moment.”

About a half-hour before Henley was set to tee off Monday, Aronson stood at the driving range soaking it all in when Davis Love III struck up a conversation.

Henley made a quick call to the USGA to make sure it was OK to use Aronson, then it was a go.

Henley’s few requests for Aronson included enjoying the scenery and experience just as he will while playing Pebble Beach for the first time. The University of Georgia star was named Southeastern Conference Golfer of the Year in his junior season this year.

The 21-year-old Henley was a Ben Hogan Award finalist and won his Open sectional qualifying site in Roswell, Ga.

Henley’s older brother, Adam, was set to arrive from their home in Macon, Ga., on Monday night to caddie the rest of the week on the spectacular oceanside course.

“I just figured I would grab somebody to carry my bag like my brother does,” Henley said. “Why not? I saw him at the putting green. If I was 13 again and at the U.S. Open, it would be a good opportunity to get on the course. I’ll just tell him to carry my bag, keep up, hang out and enjoy the scenery.”

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