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June 25, 2015

Bobby Siravo


THE MODERATOR: On the flash podium, Bobby Siravo, who served as Bernhard Langer's caddie today.

Q. So quite a good story for the local folks here, right, with you?
BOBBY SIRAVO: Yeah, it was an interesting day out there. Certainly kind of knew a lot of people out there but also was out there to do a job, and so that was my main focus out there. Most of the people that were out there, well-wishers, respected that I was out there working. It's been a long time since I've been out on a Tour bag doing that. So a lot of memories came flying back to me real quick being out there. So yeah, pretty neat story, though.

Q. Tell us the genesis of what happened and then take us through your connection to Del Paso.
BOBBY SIRAVO: Sure. Well, I started as an assistant pro at Del Paso back in 2000, and I was an assistant professional, teaching professional until 2005, when they renovated the golf course. When they renovated the golf course, it was shut down for about a year and a half. That's when the opportunity to caddie with Kevin Sutherland. So I did that for a little bit more than a year, caddied a little bit for his brother, David. Lo and behold, good fortune, I became a member of the club. So as the U.S. Open came around, having an opportunity to help out, be a volunteer, seemed a natural fit to be caddie hospitality chairman, if you will. Dan Spector is a good friend, and it was an opportunity to help out and be a part of it. So it was kind of a natural fit for me. As this week began, I knew some of the guys. Maybe a dozen or so faces I recognized, that recognized me. It was comforting seeing those guys. Just so happened that Terry Holt was one of those. Throughout the week in the caddie area, if you want to call it, the caddie shack, we exchanged pleasantries, whatnot. Last night, I saw he had a serious reaction to what we thought maybe was a bug bite and tried to help him out prescription-wise and get him taken care of without any idea thinking this would come about today with this news. Sure enough, he came walking up, and I saw him. His pant leg was rolled up. You could just see the condition his leg was in. With that, he said, Hey, I'm not going to be able to go today. Recognize you, and I know you've been out there. I said Hey, I'd like to do it. Be a great opportunity. I think I could help, but I know, just like your game, being a caddie, you've got to be on your game and just doing it one shot. Just like if you haven't played in a long time, you go out there, you're going to make a few mistakes. So I did, I made a few mistakes out there, but I thought I could help out and my experience of just being around this golf course a bunch.

Q. Had you met Bernhard Langer before?
BOBBY SIRAVO: I had never met him before. I don't think, when I was with Kevin, that we ever went out with him. So this is the first time I've met him, was coming out through -- I went in the locker room and said hey, introduced myself. Terry had let him know I was coming. So anyway, that was the first time.

Q. What was your reaction when you got to the 1st tee and I'm actually now going to caddie for somebody of this stature?
BOBBY SIRAVO: I think my experience had really helped in that regard. I was on the driving range. We hit balls next to Kevin and David. Scott McCarron, who has been a longtime friend for years from the golf industry and golf business and played a lot of golf growing up with Scott, he was out on the range doing his work for Fox. He came out. So there wasn't a star-struck mode by any means. It was kind of here I am. I know what I'm doing. I know the course. I know some people around me. Like I said, a few well-wishers in the crowd make it easy. So there wasn't any of that.

Q. Bernhard did his best to make you feel comfortable too?
BOBBY SIRAVO: Complete gentleman. Right from the start was please give me any advice you have. I'll determine what I want to take, and I'll filter through that. But if you really think there's something I'm missing, let me know. Right from the 1st hole, I jumped in as far as reading putts. He was a complete gentleman because we didn't get too many of them right until the last hole. We got one right on the 1st hole. We got one right on the last hole. Yeah, with the advice out there, we made a few mistakes. I made a few mistakes, but he understood the situation. And although I've had experience as a professional caddie, I wouldn't say that, as these guys that are out here, the real true professionals that are in there day in and day out, certainly wasn't at the top level of their game. But still, adding the local course knowledge and what I could do, which really didn't come up that much. But he certainly -- it's not easy for him. A little difficult for me, but in the back of his mind, he's thinking about his caddie. They do a lot of preparation. Terry is meticulous about the work he does, and everybody knows that on tour. So is Bernhard. So their work together, it was kind of a sense of, you know, we're just trying to be that because they're so good at that. What could I do? What could I help out with?

Q. Were there any other moments during the round, aside from the putt you made at the end, where you felt like, yeah, I'm part of this equation?
BOBBY SIRAVO: Right out of the gate. Right out of the gate. He made it very comfortable. We came to the putting green and he said, Okay, here's how I read putts. I go here's right, here's straight in, here's right center, here's right half, here's right edge, here's one ball, and this is how I read putts. So when we're going to communicate here, this is the language we want to use. The only difficult thing is he goes in meters and I'm in yards. So we figured out real fast it probably wasn't worth me trying to figure it out in the time it's going to take to convert that. So he gave me a couple of numbers to say, Hey, write these numbers down. I'll give them to you, and we'll go from there.

Q. What was the condition of Terry's leg? Was it swollen?
BOBBY SIRAVO: It was like a rash that was maybe -- I don't know that it had spread that much up and down his leg, but certainly he was pale in his face and it just -- I think the heat had a lot to do with, like do I really need to go out there and do this? He wears long pants and I don't know if -- just all kinds of different reasons I'm not sure of. But he just didn't -- you look in his eyes, it was like it's more than just a rash on his leg. There's something inside of him. We were on the range afterwards practicing, and Bernhard called him. He's not doing too much better, but they're trying to get him some fluids and keep him up and going. So hopefully, he can get out for the weekend.

Q. Have you had a chance to look at your cell phone?
BOBBY SIRAVO: I did on the way over here. Yeah, there's messages. I'll be curious to see what those are all about. I figured there probably would be a few of those. But at the same time, like I said, it was a job to do out there, and, I mean, you realize that kind of caliber of player he is and the level that he plays to and his standards, that this is a major golf tournament. And the preparation he puts into it, it's -- like I said, it's difficult for him to have a caddie that he needs to maybe -- you know, it's one more distraction on his list now that he's got to keep an eye out for, and I was going to do my best to stay focused and not have to worry about that.

Q. The conversation at the end, what did Bernhard say? Did he say good job?
BOBBY SIRAVO: Yeah, he said, Thank you very much. I said, Thanks for your patience with me out there. He said, Hey, we birdied the 1st hole and the last hole. So we can start good and finish good. Now we've just got to get the in-between figured out. Very much a total professional, like he is. So -- and, you know, we ended on the range, and we're going to get after it tomorrow morning. He was very much that way on the course. He was 2 over, and he was leaving some putts short and not getting in the groove of his rhythm. I found out on the range he put a new driver in play today. He has a gamer that he really hits great. He hit a new driver in practice and decided to go with that today. We went on the range, and he couldn't go back to his gamer. He said, hey, let's get after it. Let's go get them tomorrow. He was like that on the course after he was struggling through a little bit. It was like, Let's turn this thing around. Let's get from a couple over and see if we can get under par a little bit. A nice birdie on 18 always makes everything a little better.

Q. Not trying to put you on the spot, but if you had to give yourself a grade for today?
BOBBY SIRAVO: Oh, I'll say a B-minus. I think if he could have -- if he'd make a few more putts because, like I said, he asked me for advice on every hole unless it was a really short putt. So I took the opportunity to say, this is what I see. And versus after maybe a few didn't go in that I was just going to hang out on the side of the green and just stand there. If I was going to help him -- sometimes you get off just like any sport, you get off to a rough start, miss a couple here or there, make an error or two, but you stay in the game. Sooner or later, you start catching on track. I figure the only way we're going to connect here is if I stay in the game. That's what I tried to do. Putts started coming a lot closer towards the end. But it's hard to give myself anything better than that because it's hard to club. He's doing meters. He's hard to club. And I just, I don't want to get in the middle of something too much. But I finished the round. I figure there's a good chance I might caddie anyway with David caddieing for Kevin. I figure about the 14th hole, I might get a call and have to run out, cover for David. Like I said in the beginning, we saw those guys on the range, and it was very comforting to see those guys and feel good.

Q. Obviously, you had other plans before this all happened. How does this change what you do tonight? You're probably going to do something different than you thought you might do tonight?
BOBBY SIRAVO: Yeah. I'm going to be sore. I've got to make sure I ice when I go home. It felt good. Even when you're caddieing, you get adrenaline going and get through it. So I need to take care of myself a little bit because we're turning around tomorrow, meeting Bernhard at 6:30. I've got to get that turned around. The real -- the staff at Del Paso, when I found out this information, I went to Mike Green, who's been a longtime friend. I used to work for Mike. I said, There's an opportunity, but I have duties here, you know. I have responsibilities, being the caddie hospitality chairman. And so he was like, Yeah, you got to go do this. He said, why don't you call Dan Spector, the chairman of the event. I said hey, Dan, this is up. He said, I'd go do it. You better go do that. I have a great guy who is running things, Tom McKenzie is an employee at Del Paso. He's been around caddies a long time. It was easy to leave that to him. And so at the same time, all the professional caddies are here. I have absolutely the utmost respect for and what they do, and today was just a reminder of how good those guys are as well as the players.

Q. One thing just to clarify. You found out about this today, and what time of the day was it that you found out?
BOBBY SIRAVO: I would say it was probably 10:00-ish when Terry came up and I saw him and I said, Terry, let me make just a couple phone calls to make sure everybody's all good with this so I'm not just running out there, leaving responsibilities behind. I kind of got that checked off. So 10:00 -- I knew of his illness last night, but I never even thought today that -- you know, I didn't come to the course thinking, Gosh, I wonder if terry's not going to make it and I can do this. I went and changed shirts. Got out of my volunteer shirt, went over in the merchandise tent and took my 20 percent discount card and got a white shirt.

Q. Bobby, good stuff. Thanks for spending time with us.
BOBBY SIRAVO: Thank you.
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