Matthew Wolff may seem like the odd man out on paper for Sunday’s TaylorMade Driving Relief competition, but one of the rules adopted for the charity skins match may give him an unexpected edge.
Wolff will team with Rickie Fowler against the decorated duo of Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson in the match at Seminole Golf Club, where caddies will not be used as a COVID-19 precaution. Players instead will be allowed to use distance-measuring devices to determine yardages. Carts will not be allowed for players, who will instead be allowed to walk and “either carry their own bags or pull a trolley for the competition.”
While Tour veterans are accustomed to having someone else do the heavy lifting inside the ropes, Wolff isn’t that far removed from carrying his own clubs. Less than a year ago he was starring for Oklahoma State in the NCAA Division I championship at The Blessings Golf Course in Arkansas.
“It was one of the hilliest courses I’ve ever walked,” Wolff said Thursday on a media conference call. “So I mean, it’s been definitely nice having a caddie carrying my bag, but with the carry bag it shouldn’t be too hard. Seminole is a pretty easy walk.”
Fowler last carried his own bag during a practice round last year at PGA National ahead of the Honda Classic, and he believes his teammate’s recent experience shouldering his own load could help their cause.
“It wasn’t my favorite, but it definitely brought back some memories of college golf,” Fowler said. “I think Matt is going to be in the best situation since he’s not far off of college golf, so he may have the upper leg there.”
Johnson couldn’t recall the last time he carried his own bag during a round, but he doesn’t expect the rules stipulation to weigh heavily in the overall outcome of the match.
“That’s not an issue,” Johnson said. “I feel like I’m in good enough shape to carry my bag around for 18 holes without it being a problem.”