A.J. Eathorne laughs when asked what it’s like to be a caddy.
“It’s a lot different than playing as far as there is not as much stress,” she said from her home in Phoenix. “You can work hard but it’s not you hitting the shot anymore.”
Eathorne stepped away from the game following three events in 2009 and turned to caddying to stay involved the game in 2010. With her experience, Eathorne feels she can help someone else elevate their game. She hoped to do that with Kris Blanks on the PGA tour. However, Blanks eventually had some struggles and decided to part ways. It wasn’t long before Brittany Lincicome came texting. Five days to be exact The two are friends from their time on the LPGA.
“I think I was surprised that her and her caddy were splitting up,” said Eathorne, who attended New Mexico State University in 1998. “They had worked together for over a year as well.”
Eathorne understands it’s a business and when things start going wrong, change comes.
“I was happy just because she is such a happy person and a good person that I was excited to work with somebody that was like that,” she said. “She had texted me and asked me if I was interested in working for her. Obviously being friends before, helped me for one get the job but, I knew what she was looking for and I’m not afraid to ask.”
The change from Blanks to Lincicome has been “a breath of fresh air” for Eathorne.
The duo teamed up for their first event in the Sybase Match Play Championship in Gladstone, NJ and Lincicome tied for 33rd. The two were able to spend a lot of time together despite not getting in as many rounds as they would have liked.
“We’re both excited about where it can go.”
The duo is now in Atlantic City for a tournament that started June 2. Because Eathorne has played there before, she feels it will be an advantage to help Lincicome.
“She will hit it past where I can likely hit it,” she said. “That’s kind of fun too. I can tell her I hit a five iron in here and she’s got a wedge. Kind of make her feel superior. Any time you can pump up your player a bit that’s a good thing.
“Brittany is easy going,” said Eathorne, who picks her moments to give Lincicome a push.
“Not necessarily get any whips out,” she added, stating it would be more along the lines of. “Come on girl we need to step on it right now, we need to get some birdies now.”
When talking about her own game, Eathorne said because of the lack of events and the work she would have to put in to get back to her level, she is hesitant to comeback. Eathorne stopped playing on tour as she believed she had hit a mental block. She needed to step away for a year or two.
“I enjoy playing again. I enjoy going to the golf course,” said Eathorne, a big supporter of Penticton’s Tees Up for Cancer event. “I did need a break. I’m still not at that point yet where I want to play professionally. I will never say there’s never a chance, but right now that’s just not a high priority.”
Right now, she just wants to enjoy the challenges of being a caddy.