Caddie Connection

Rose Guides Moresco to Low Amateur Honors in U.S.Women’s Open

By Tom Mackin

Chris Rose was on a surfing trip this past June on the Indonesian island of Telos when he opened an email from a complete stranger. The sender was Benedetta Moresco, a 21-year-old Italian golfer from the University of Alabama who had qualified for the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. She needed a caddie and the USGA provided contact info for Rose, who has looped at the course since 2020. He agreed to the job, and they met for the first time on the practice range on Monday of championship week in July. Neither could have known then just how well their random connection would work out. 

Moresco went on to earn Low Amateur honors for the championship, thanks in large part to guidance provided by the 54-year-old Rose, an independent contractor caddie of Troon-owned CADDIEMASTER, which manages caddie operations at Pebble Beach. 

After caddying as a teenager at Belmont Country Club in his native Massachusetts, Rose moved to Santa Cruz, California, in the late 1980s, got married, and worked in the printing business for three decades before resuming caddie duties in 2020. 

“My kids are out of the house, and I get bored if I don’t work,” said Rose, who splits his working rounds between Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill Golf Course. “It’s not uncommon to meet famous people working there, but I try to treat everybody like a Tour pro and honor the fact that they have spent a lot of money to play the courses.”

His competitive juices started to flow when he landed the gig working in the national championship for Moresco, who had missed the cut in the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open. 

“Chris played a huge part in my result at the U.S. Open, as his local knowledge and his love for the game of golf really helped me on the course each day of the tournament,” said Moresco, who earned First-Team All-SEC honors at Alabama in 2022. “Chris did a great job of helping me choose the strategy from the tee, the approach shots to the green, and on the green as well. I think that since the first couple of practice rounds, we bonded really well, and we realized we were a good team. He was extremely professional with me on the course and managed to calm my nerves in the most critical situations.”

Rose was equally impressed, both by Moresco’s personality (“Just the sweetest, warmest, young lady you will ever meet,” he said) and her on-course performance, especially a bogey-free, first-round score of 70. 

“I’ve seen a lot of golf, but that has to be the best round I’ve ever seen,” he said. “She shot 2-under with 16 pars and two birdies. That round was just phenomenal.” 

After a second round 77, Moresco shot 76 on Saturday to enter the final round 3 shots behind fellow amateur Aine Donegan of Ireland.  

“After making the cut, I felt like okay, now we’re playing with house money,” said Rose. “I had an eye on Donegan, who was getting a lot of attention. We had a great final round pairing with Gaby López, with lots of chatting in the group. Benedetta likes conversation and likes to laugh on the course. She’s serious when she needs to be, but she likes the small talk, too.” 

There was plenty of golf talk as well, with Rose providing invaluable tips gleaned from the hundreds of rounds he’s worked at Pebble. 

“He always knew where the uphill putts were with any hole location and gave me significant advice on how to play approach shots,” Moresco said. “His help was crucial from holes eight to 11 as, in my opinion, those were the most difficult holes on the golf course. Another thing Chris helped me with was the wind. His local knowledge of wind directions and effect on the ball helped me a lot in the visualization and execution of the shot.”

L to R: Chris Rose, Angelica Moresco, Benedetta Moresco, and Troon CEO Tim Schantz.

It’s the same type of valuable assistance that Rose — along with 3,000 of his colleagues at 70 courses in 24 states and three countries where CADDIEMASTER manages caddie operations — provides for every-day players, too. 

“I sincerely want people to have a great experience, and put forth the effort to help that happen,” he said. “I try to get them to relax, appreciate where they are, and what they’re doing. Be the tour guide if they’re interested in the history of Pebble. Be the psychologist when needed. Be a friend for five hours. All while giving them the help needed to navigate the golf course. I honestly think the best way to play golf is to walk without carrying your clubs.”

After Moresco completed her final round 73, she — along with her parents and her sister Angelica, who plays on the Epson Tour — left to drop off a courtesy car at nearby Monterey airport before heading to San Francisco Airport and traveling to Finland to represent Italy in an amateur event. Back at the course, Rose relaxed in a hospitality tent, watching the final round coverage.

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“So Donegan bogeys 16 and now we’re ahead of her by 1 for Low Amateur honors,” he recalled. “My phone is blowing up with messages from friends who were watching and knew who I caddied for. Then Donegan has an 11-foot putt on 18 to tie Benedetta, but she misses. So I call Benedetta immediately and tell her what happened. ‘You won Low Amateur!’ I said. She said, ‘I did?’ We chatted briefly, then I walked out to the course to talk to some caddie buddies. She called me back a few minutes later and said she was leaving the airport to come back to the course. I told her, ‘Good call.’” 

Moresco received her Low Amateur medal alongside U.S. Women’s Open winner Allisen Corpuz during the awards presentation, with Rose watching nearby. 

“It was surreal,” he said with a laugh. “Am I really standing at the 18th green at Pebble Beach watching my player get a medal around her neck? I never thought in a million years I would be there.”

For Rose, it was the highlight (so far) of his caddie career, a profession that can be very humbling. “It was hard to go back to resort caddying afterwards,” he admitted. “I was back out there the next morning at 7:30 a.m. working with a group from Golfzon (a Troon partner) out on Del Monte Golf Course. But I was still on cloud nine.”

This caddie-player pairing is not over yet, according to Moresco. 

“I am enormously grateful that I have met Chris and looking forward to walking into LPGA Q-school (starting August 28th in Palm Springs, Calif.) with him on the bag and hopefully in 2024 on Tour,” she said. “I believe that we are a great team and we can achieve big things together.”