SYLVANIA, Ohio —
Roaming the fairways of Highland Meadows Golf Course at the Marathon Classic, there are over 100 world class golfers with stories to tell. In the shadows behind the LPGA’s finest are perhaps the most important piece to the puzzle of their game: Their caddie.
Caddies have an important job. They calculate distances, consult the golfer on what club to use, and read greens. You might say they are the unsung heroes, as they rarely get the credit for when things go right but surely hear about it when something goes wrong. For Annie Park, she realizes the importance of her caddie Josh Williams, and is quick to acknowledge his role on the golf course and as her significant other.
“I realize that I rely on him so much. If he is not there I do not have my clubs, my water, my food. He is my necessity on the golf course,” she said with laughter. “He’s great. He is such a sweetheart. He is a really good caddie on the golf course and takes really good care of me besides getting numbers and reading greens. It is great.
“Well, you never know how it is going to start. So, you always have to be yourself and see how it plays out,” Williams explained. “Luckily, Annie and I both have the same mindset on and off the golf course. We stick together really well.”
Williams is quite the athlete himself. He is a former hockey player in the North American Junior Hockey League. And assisting Park at this week’s tournament is not the first time in Toledo, he played for the Cherokee.
A native of Flushing, Michigan, Williams moved in with his uncle who resides in Perrysburg during the 2007-08 hockey season. During that time, he played 19 games with Toledo, recording two goals and six assists.
This week is surreal for Williams. He gleefully calls Toledo his hometown, even if he only spent over a year residing in northwest Ohio. Nonetheless, this week is his hometown event and one that provides support for he and Annie.
“I love it. I tell Annie that it is like a hometown event for me. I know so many people here so I love it,” he said. “I know where everything is at. I do not have to use Google Maps for once at an event.
“It makes me want to go stay back home. It is nice. My uncle lives down in Perrysburg so everything is like home this week for me.”
And Annie is feeling the positive vibes from Williams now that he is back in a place he once called home.
“It is nice. He has a lot of family and friends here. It is always nice to be back in your hometown,” she said. “I can’t wait to meet his friends and family. We are going to play some good golf.”
Not only does being back home provide comfort, familiarity, and support, it also works into the tandem's favor as they compete in the tournament this week.
“Yes [it translates on the course.] I have the best boss in the world, so we are always comfortable out here,” he stated.
“It would be great [to play well.]. It would be awesome,” she said proudly. “It would be a new memory that we add to the books. I am going to try my best and have fun.”