Wizards

Watney asks wife to carry the bag for sick caddie

201210280243098145459-p2.jpeg

Watney asks wife to carry the bag for sick caddie

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) When heat stroke felled his caddie late in the first round of the CIMB Classic, Nick Watney's wife Amber stepped in to help.

His eventual win Sunday in the $6.1 tournament was a long way off when she volunteered to pick up the bag when regular caddie Chad Reynolds was taken to the first-aid room and put on an I-V drip at the steamy Mines Resort.

She isn't a golfer and admits she doesn't have a clue about how to read a yardage book, but she gave plenty of moral support when she heaved the bag on the 18th hole and walked with her husband to the end of his first round Thursday.

Watney used a local caddie for the second round Friday, then Reynolds was fit enough to return for work on the weekend.

Amber Watney said as the daughter of a seasoned tour caddie, she was willing to negotiate on the fees after her husband won the $1.3 million first prize. Watney narrowly missed out on a 59 in the last round when he bogeyed the last hole. Perhaps it'll come into Watney's calculations when he's buying her a gift for their second wedding anniversary, which is Tuesday.

Amber joked that the fact that it was only one hole - he made par on the 18th with her on the bag - didn't detract from her contribution.

``I was behind the rope, watching the round. Nick just waved me over and said, `Chad's going to go to the first aide tent,''' she recounted Sunday. ``I said `I'll carry the bag.'

``He's like, `Are you sure?''

Her father, Rusty Uresti, is a tour caddie in the United States. Her uncle, Omar Uresti, is professional golfer who has had a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour and two titles on the Web.com tour.

``So Nick was telling me, `It's in the blood, it's in the blood,''' she said. ``I put in my application for Friday's round, but I was denied. I was OK with that!''

Reynolds was back on the bag for the third and fourth rounds - when Watney shot 65-61 to win by a stroke - saying he didn't fly 24 hours to just sit in his room all weekend.

Watney had 11 birdies in the first 17 holes Sunday and needed only one more to join an elite club of players who've gone under 60 in a competitive round on a major tour. He had a bogey on the last hole, but it didn't bother him because, he said, the win was more important. And he praised Reynolds' contribution for keeping him level-headed.

On the 11th, Watney said Reynolds convinced him to lay up instead of going for the green, and that was the key to his birdie.

``Then, on the very next hole, I wanted to hit a 7-iron, he said it was an 8, and I hit it about 4 feet and made another birdie,'' Watney said. ``He definitely helped me. And it's good just to have somebody you're comfortable with coming down the stretch.''

As for Amber, she's planning on enjoying her first trip to Malaysia. Watney has won five times on the PGA Tour. His win in the CIMB Classic, which will become an official event on the PGA Tour next year, was his first in Asia.

``My wife carried the last hole (Thursday), so she can say that we won the tournament when she caddied,'' Watney said.

Quick Links

Michigan's Moritz Wagner could be Wizards' solution for a stretch-five

usatsi_10761235.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Michigan's Moritz Wagner could be Wizards' solution for a stretch-five

The pre-draft workout process can be an exhausting journey for players, with so many flights, hotel rooms and NBA arenas that they can all blend in together. Michigan big man Moritz Wagner, though, may have felt a sense of comfort in Washington for his pre-draft workout for the Wizards on Wednesday.

It was just over a year ago that his Michigan Wolverines cut down the nets at Capital One Arena as champions of the Big Ten conference.

"It was good memories, man. Never gets old," he said while glancing around the stadium.

Wagner, 21, will be seeing a lot more of Capital One Arena once he joins the NBA ranks and it is conceivable he ends up in Washington. They hold the 15th pick in the first round and the 44th pick in the second round and Wagner could be within their reach.

Wagner had an impressive workout in Washington and could provide what the Wizards need. He is a big, mobile and can spread the floor. Wagner was terrific at stepping out to hit threes off pick-and-rolls at Michigan and that ability would work well with Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall.

Wagner measured in at just under 7-feet at this month's NBA Combine, fifth-tallest among those who attended. He averaged 14.6 points as a junior this past season and made 39.4 percent of his threes on 4.1 attempts per game.

With three years of college experience and an NBA-ready jumper, Wagner believes he can step right in and help the Wizards.

"I think what we did at Michigan, sharing the ball and playing as a team, very organized basketball, that can help big-time," he said. "It's basically pro basketball I was playing on a different level."

As Wagner will tell you, he is very confident in his abilities. He is comfortable in his own skin and that includes openly discussing his faults. He feels good about his ability to score at the next level. Defense is where he needs to prove himself.

Despite his size, Wagner wasn't much of a rim protector in college. He averaged just a half-block a game as a junior. The Wizards need rim protection badly and he likely would not provide that.

Wagner, though, believes he can bring more to the table defensively than the numbers would suggest.

"I think I've been an offensive guy all of my life, but the more that you mature as a player, you understand that both sides are important. Without defense, you aren't going to play at any level," he said.

"I think the most important thing that I wasn't able to show in college is that I'm able to switch the ball-screen, especially with the way the league is going. Switch on everything and stay in front of guards as a big guy."

Wagner is from Germany and looks up to Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki, who is entering his 21st season and will be in the Hall of Fame someday. Nowitzki's game has always been built around shooting and, though he developed into a decent shot-blocker in his prime, was never an elite rim protector.

Wagner hopes to follow in his footsteps playing a similar style.

"He was my MJ. He kind of shows you 'okay, this is possible and this is doable.' It's just basketball," Wagner said. "It gives you a lot of hope. It gives you a lot of belief and motivation."

Hear more from Wagner in his one-on-one interview with Chris Miller in our latest Wizards Tipoff podcast. His interview can also be found in the video above:

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 

MORE CAPITALS' NEWS: