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PGA Tour caddy Matt Kelly talks about working with pro Marc Leishman

5:41 PM, May 7, 2013   |    comments
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PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- Matt Kelly works as the caddy for PGA TOUR pro Marc Leishman. 

The Australian duo's star rose during their run at The Masters this year. 

Leishman finished in a tie for fourth place, but was in the group with eventual winner and fellow Australian Adam Scott.

"If it couldn't be my guy, it was cool to see another Australian win," Kelly said during an interview from TPC Sawgrass.

"There's been a lot of replays [of Adam Scott's win] and it's cool to see yourself in the background there," he said.

The background is generally where caddies find themselves in the course of a tournament. 

That's not a low blow, or a jab -- just the nature of their business. 

But Kelly said he's fine with that. It's a career path that introduced him to his girlfriend. They met at The Players. 

He even decided to move to Jacksonville Beach full-time from Australia to be closer to her.

"Being a caddy, the travel is really great. You meet a lot of cool people, but seeing my best friend succeed at something he loves gives me a buzz every time," he said.

Often a caddy is just doing a job. Many tour pros and their loopers maintain a strictly business relationship. 

But for Kelly and Leishman, it's much more personal.

"This all started out we were purely friends," he said. "I mean, the money is good, and it's certainly a job, but we are mainly just friends."

Kelly said caddies on tour make a negotiated flat rate each week. According to a PGA Tour survey, the average rate is around $1,000 per week.

"That rate has to cover travel, rental car, hotel, eating out," Kelly said. 

"It adds up really fast."

But caddies can make bigger bucks is when their pro is playing well.

"There's a percentage. A lot of people think it's 10 percent. Well it's 10 percent for a win."

Many caddies will make 7 percent if their pro finishes in the top 10, 5 percent if the player makes a cut and is in any level of money.

Then there's the celebration question. 

Many times the high five/fist bump routine between caddy and player can come across a bit awkward.

Tiger Woods and his former caddy Steve Williams were notorious for sometimes strange celebration scenarios. 

But Kelly said there's no plan when it comes to celebrating with Leishman. It just happens naturally.

"No, we don't plan anything ahead. But here at The Players, it would be nice to win and jump in that lake on 18."

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