Who Is Kurt Kitayama’s Caddie?
A player who has worked his way up the golfing ranks to the PGA Tour, American Kurt Kitayama (opens in new tab) currently has Tim Tucker on the bag (opens in new tab), who is a caddie that famously worked with Bryson DeChambeau for many years.
This was a surprising change at the start of the 2023 calendar year but came through family channels. Seeking a caddie replacement, Kitayama reached out to his brother Danny, a caddie at Bandon Dunes, which happened to be the place that Tucker worked, and set up a luxury shuttle service, LOOP Golf Transportation, to take golfers back and forth from the airport to the resort.
After parting ways with his caddie at Pebble, Kitayama played the following week at the WM Phoenix Open and Tucker happened to be there for some work associated with the ballmarker he has designed and markets. They decided to work together that week.
“They have always stayed in contact, and this was just an opportunity that happened to arise,” Kitayama said.
This partnership then had immediate success as Kitayama managed to see off a stellar field at the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational, despite a triple-bogey 7 during the final round.
“I was putting for triple, and I just told [Tucker], ‘I still feel comfortable. I didn’t feel out of place. It was just one bad swing.’ He kind of backed me up. He said, ‘You look fine.’ And that helped.”
“I just thought he was world class,’’ Tucker told a cloud of reporters on Sunday after claiming the caddie trophy, the flag at 18. “I told him you’re world class in three areas. Clean up the driver and you can beat these guys. He’s elite chipping the ball and striking it.”
Of course most people will know Tucker from working on DeChambeau’s bag, in which they had big success including a Major at the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot. Tucker has also worked with Tour pros Adam Svensson and Chesson Hadley.
As we mentioned above, Kitayama’s previous caddie partnership ended after the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The caddie in question was a man called Bryan Martin, who seemingly mis-clubbed Kitayama on a hole which lead to a double-bogey.
After four years, this might’ve been the catalyst to the partnership ending. Kitayama was asked about it, and whilst he didn’t throw Martin under the bus, he didn’t refute the story either. “I just felt like it was time, a couple of bad things had happened and tough situations I feel like,” Kitayama said in explaining his caddie change. “We had a really good run.”