U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN
DeChambeau’s Caddie Seeks Open Double With Thompson
December 7, 2020
By Ron Sirak
Faced with the possibility of going winless on the LPGA Tour for the first time since 2012 – which is rather remarkable considering she is only 25 years old – Lexi Thompson has joined forces with a caddie who knows a thing or two about winning the U.S. Open – Tim Tucker, who carried Bryson DeChambeau to victory at Winged Foot Golf Club in September.
Thompson hopes some of that magic will travel south to Champions Golf Club in Houston, site of this week’s U.S. Women’s Open. Lexi and DeChambeau have the same agent and that’s how she met Tucker. He now has the chance to do something extremely rare – win both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open in the same year.
Mark Fulcher is someone who can claim wins in both championships, having caddied for Alison Nicholas in her U.S. Women’s Open victory at Pumpkin Ridge in 1997, and having looped for Justin Rose when he prevailed in the U.S. Open at Merion in 2013.
Fulcher also won an LPGA Championship with Dame Laura Davies, although he was not on her bag when she won the 1987 U.S. Women’s Open. Since the start of 2020, Fulcher has caddied for Francesco Molinari, the 2018 British Open champion.
And while Fulcher has won both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open, no one – including Fulcher – can remember any caddie taking both titles in the same year. In Thompson, Tucker has a player who has to be considered a top contender.
Lexi tied for second last year at the Country Club of Charleston and was T-5 the year before. She has two other top-10 finishes in the U.S. Women’s Open, an event she first qualified for as a 12-year-old in 2007, the year before she won the U.S. Girls’ Junior.
The lone major among her 11 LPGA wins was in the 2014 ANA Inspiration, although she has 16 top-10 finishes in majors.
Thompson, who won at least once each of the last seven years coming into 2020, has struggled in this COVID-19 interrupted season – by her lofty standards. Her best finish was fourth at the ANA. In the other majors, she missed the cut at the Women’s British Open and was T-30 in the Women’s PGA.
That frustration led to several caddie changes this year. She started the season with Benji Thompson – no relation – with whom she won that ANA Inspiration in 2014, and she has had five others on her bag in 2020. In Tucker, Thompson has a guy who comes with high praise.
“Would be a fantastic achievement for Bryson’s man,” Fulcher said about Tucker. “My man Timmy is the hardest working caddie in the world.”
The challenges of this week will require hard work. Because the championship was moved from June to December – which has much less daylight – both courses at Champions will be used the first two rounds.
Scoping out both courses will require some legwork for Tucker. Winning both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open would put him in very exclusive company.
Ron Sirak is a Massachusetts-based freelance writer who frequently contributes to USGA digital channels.