Caddie Barry Williams, who is a Durham native, watches as Boo Weekley lines up a putt on the 11th green during the third round of the PGA Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La., on April 27.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -
traveled from Charlotte to Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., last week.
The Durham native fished on Tuesday with Boo Weekley.
was on the TPC Sawgrass golf course
on Wednesday for a practice round.
Ahh ... the life of a PGA Tour caddie.
"All it took was one week, and I fell in love with it," Williams
said in the shadow of the sprawling TPC Sawgrass clubhouse.
But it isn't that simple or all luxury toting a golf bag for the world's best golfers, a job the 39-year-old Northern High and UNC Wilmington graduate has held for 11 years.
must serve just as much as an unofficial psychologist, butler and sounding board, all the while being concerned about job security around the bend, preparing for rain, cold and heat and enduring the rigors of the road.
Since taking what then was scheduled as a one-year hiatus from his father Rick's Durham construction business in 2002 to caddie for lifelong friend John Maginnes, Williams
has seen the world while carrying a 50-pound golf bag for nine players.
never went home."
Williams' boyhood home was on the 17th and then 18th holes at Willowhaven Country Club
in northern Durham County where he
graduated from Northern
in 1992 and from UNCW in 1997 before moving back home to work for his
father to build homes in the Durham area.
kept a close watch on Maginnes' professional career, which included a second place at the 1996 Buick Challenge on the PGA Tour and three victories on the Web.com Tour.
In 2002, Maginnes needed a caddie, and Williams took his construction sabbatical.
Maginnes earned $49,500 and Williams
pocketed almost $5,000.
"It was awesome," Williams
That week set up a nationwide road trip with Williams
at the wheel of his SUV with Maginnes in the passenger seat.
was forced to look for a new boss.
In succession, he
moved on to Todd Fischer, John Rollins, Bob Tway, Daniel Chopra, Vaughn Taylor, Brian Gay, Blake Adams in 2012 and now Weekley.
In late January in San Diego, Adams informed Williams
needed season-ending hip replacement surgery.
It was time to find a new bag.
But there stood Weekley, a frequent Adams practice round partner.
"I didn't get a wink of sleep on Thursday night after Blake told me about his surgery," Williams
If you do the math for the standards of caddie pay on the PGA Tour, this is a good place for Williams
Normally, caddies are paid 10 percent of the player earnings for a win, seven percent for a top 10 and five percent for anything else after the cut.
Weekley pays a bit better, offering 10 percent for a top-20 finish and seven percent for everything else.
Additionally, there's a ballpark minimum salary per week, which is at least $1,500.
"If you've got a top-70 bag on the PGA Tour, you're gonna make six figures as a caddie out here," Williams
The attributes that make the Weekley-Williams
team work are rooted in their easygoing Southern demeanors.
carries the yardage book and reads putts when asked.
also gets Weekley's mind off a poor shot, which has been a weakness in recent years.
"We are jiving out here right now, singing songs going down the fairway," Weekley said.
"We are always making something up."
The fishing connection comes easily because Williams
, a Wilmington resident, loves salt-water fishing and Weekley is a devoted outdoorsman who often can be found fishing the water hazards on the golf course during his
Three weeks ago, they went on a fishing excursion outside New Orleans.
Last week, they were in search of redfish in the Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville Beach.
"Caddies spend more time with these players than their wives do," Williams
"Fishing takes Boo's mind completely off golf, and that's a good thing."
The Dallas event marks a fifth consecutive start for Weekley and Williams, from Hilton Head to New Orleans, Charlotte, Ponte Vedra and Dallas.
But when a player is rolling, a caddie is happy.
And that's where Williams
is in his
"I'll probably do this until my body starts showing signs it's time to stop - maybe another good 10 to 15 years," he