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Waldman is not the only caddie who can play.

Damon Green, who works for Zach Johnson, once played the PGA Tour and recently earned conditional status on the Champions Tour. Another former player, Lance Ten Broeck, last year got into the Texas Open as an alternate. He played in the morning and caddied for Jesper Parnevik in the afternoon. Both missed the cut.

Paul Tesori once got his card through Q-school, but didn’t last long. He since has worked for Vijay Singh, Sean O’Hair and now is helping out Waldman working for Villegas next week at the Chevron World Challenge while Waldman is at Q-school.

Can he really make it?

“At the beginning, I didn’t think I could,” Waldman said. “I went to pre-qualifying having played one practice round. I didn’t know if I could shoot even par for four days.”

He didn’t have to. With 40 players advancing out of the pre-qualifier, Waldman shot 4-over 292 and tied for eighth. With four weeks off after the FedEx Cup, he worked on his game and shot 69 on the final day to get through the first stage.

Preparing for the second stage was tougher because Villegas was back to work, and so was Waldman. He flew to Shanghai for the HSBC Champions, then to Melbourne for the Australian Masters.

The second stage of Q-school began two days after his 18-hour flight home.

“When I come back from China, I can’t tie my shoes for a week,” said Jim “Bones” Mackay, who works for Phil Mickelson. “And this guy makes it through the second stage of Q-school. Unbelievable.”

Waldman didn’t have time or daylight to practice in China. His break came in Australia, where the exclusive Capital Club offered him use of its practice facilities when Villegas wasn’t playing.

“We traded texts,” Bennett said. “I told him it can be windy at Craig Ranch, and he said it was windy that week in Australia. He got a lot of confidence out of his practice sessions.”

Caddies were texting him from Malaysia to encourage him in the first stage. Steve Williams, the caddie for Tiger Woods, learned about Waldman’s big dream and sent texts every day during the second stage. In the final round at Craig Ranch, Waldman’s gallery included caddies Brennan Little (Mike Weir), Billy Spencer (Jason Bohn) and James Edmondson (Ryan Palmer).

“I’ve heard from a lot of caddies that I didn’t expect,” Waldman said. “I can’t believe how many people follow Q-school.”

Even if Waldman doesn’t make it, he faces a tough decision. After the top 25 get tour cards, the next 50 get full status on the Nationwide Tour, and the rest have conditional status on the Nationwide.

Play the Nationwide or caddie for a top player like Villegas?

Story Continues →