The event is one of four majors on the PGA Tour.
On Sept. 17, former Ryerson Rams hockey player Mitchell Theoret will be caddying for Canadian golfer Taylor Pendrith in one of the biggest events in professional golf — the U.S. Open.
“Should be pretty fun,” Theoret said. “Not too many people get to caddie on the PGA Tour, let alone caddie in a major. So it’ll definitely be a pretty cool experience.”
Back in early August, the duo qualified for the major by earning enough points during the season to nab a top five spot on the Korn Ferry Tour (formerly Web.com Tour) points list after the WinCo Foods Portland Open.
The U.S. Open is one of four majors on the PGA Tour alongside the Masters, the Open Championship, and the PGA Championship. Not only will this be Theoret’s first caddying experience in a major, it will also be his first time caddying on the PGA Tour altogether.
Before his career as a caddie, Theoret played on the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team for two seasons. This includes the 2016-17 Rams team which had one of the most dominant rosters in recent years. That season, the team finished first in the Ontario University Athletics West Conference regular season and achieved multiple team records.
After his tenure with the Rams, Theoret went on to play two seasons of professional hockey in Europe before making the jump to professional caddying. This included stops with the Kongsvinger Knights in the Norwegian league’s second division and VHK Vsetín in the Czech First League, according to eliteprospects.com.
Despite only becoming Pendrith’s full-time caddie last year, the two have been able to find quick success together. That’s likely because Theoret played golf with Pendrith growing up. As a result of seeing the golfer’s game over the years, Theoret said the two almost always have the same mindset on the course.
“I just know his game so well,” said Theoret. “I know when he’s on, what’s working and when we get to the ball I can already sort of tell… what kind of shots he wants to hit into the green and off the tee.”
Theoret helped Pendrith finish second in the Mackenzie Tour in 2019. This granted Pendrith status to play on the Korn Ferry Tour for the 2020 season, the tour directly below the PGA Tour.
Knowing the right shots to hit is especially crucial at majors like the U.S. Open, said caddie Brennan Little, who was Gary Woodland’s caddie when he won the U.S. Open last year, “because of the speed of the greens and the rough around the greens, to know where to hit it on the greens.” Little, who also caddied for Canadian golf legend Mike Weir when he won the Masters in 2003, compared being in a major in golf to being in the playoffs for hockey.
“Everything’s geared up a little bit more,” said Little. “There’s a little more adrenaline for everyone, a little more excitement.”
Little said he will be caddying for Woodland again this year when the 120th U.S. Open goes to Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. this week. Canadian golfers Adam Hadwin, Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes will also be in the field for the major.
While Theoret said he’s excited for the event, he admits that it hasn’t completely sunk in yet that they’re actually going to the U.S. Open.
“I’m sure once we get to New York and we get to the course, Monday morning will probably be a bit of a different feeling.”