BEVERLY, Mass. – Last week, Endicott rising senior Christopher Billings (Portland, Maine) served as Jack Wyman's '13 (South Freeport, Maine) caddy at the 89th New England Amateur Golf Championship. Wyman went on to finish tied for sixth overall at the event, only four shots back of the winner, but also claimed the Maine State Golf Association's (MSGA) Player of the Year award with his solid finish in the tournament. Billings and Wyman's copnnection goes well beyond last weekend's tournament, however.
"I met Jack back in the summer of 2015 when I began working at the Portland Country Club where Jack is a member and I found out that he had gone and played golf at Endicott," said Billings, who is a hotel management major at Endicott.
"He introduced himself and said we should play sometime as I was going into my freshmen year at Endicott and would be a member of the golf team," said Billings. "We became good friends from there on out and have played a lot of golf together over the years since. This summer, Jack asked me to caddy for him in the New England Amateur, which was hosted by our club, the Portland Country Club, and I said I would love to."
Billings' presence this past weekend was an added boost for Wyman after he narrowly won the 99th Maine Amateur Golf Championship the previous week by one stroke. It was Wyman's second consecutive victory at the Maine Amateur.
"Chris and I have played a lot of golf together so he knows my game very well, but more importantly, he knows how to keep me calm and collected on the course," said Wyman, despite this weekend's sixth place finish.
Wyman's play featured scores of 70, 68, and 72 to finish even over the three-day championship.
Although Wyman was the one competing last weekend, the relationship has had a mutual benefit for both golfers.
"Caddying for Jack was really fun, he's a great player and we work great as a team through the good shots and the bad ones. We both have good golf knowledge and knowledge of the course which helped us last week at the New England Am," said Billings. "We kind of fed off each other on the course and I think we make a pretty good team."
Billings went on to describe the relationship and importance of teamwork between a caddy and a golfer.
"Caddying is a lot of work, it's not just carrying the bag which most people think. You have to be able to read pin sheets, read greens, judge the wind and determine how far or how little or hard to hit a shot," said Billings. "Both Jack and I have played golf our entire lives, including a lot of rounds at the Portland Country Club, so our combined experiences in addition to playing at our home course benefited Jack last week. Who knows if Jack makes his pro career a reality, but maybe I could hop on the back for him, it would be a pretty cool story. I wish nothing but the best for Jack as he continues his way towards becoming pro."
Wyman's pro career could definitely become a reality, and he credits Endicott with helping him prepare for his playing days after graduation.
"I've been working hard at my game after graduating from Endicott, so it's nice to see the hard work paying off," said Wyman. "Endicott's golf program has been very strong for a lot of years. Playing in college events at Endicott helped prepare me for bigger amateur events and made the transition easy. I have a bunch of tournaments left in my season and hope to continue playing well so that I can achieve my main goal of becoming a professional golfer."
Much like Billings, everyone at Endicott wishes Wyman the best as he chases his dream to become a pro.