WOMEN'S GOLF

Crown Point's Peschke ready to be on the bag at U.S. Women's Open

2013-06-23T20:30:00Z 2013-09-16T18:49:11Z Crown Point's Peschke ready to be on the bag at U.S. Women's OpenSteve Hanlon steve.hanlon@nwi.com, (219) 933-4198 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | In 2010 Eric Peschke was doing what he's done much of his life: he was walking around a golf course, making friends and making people laugh.

Peschke should have this on his business card. And a bumper sticker.

The 2001 Crown Point graduate was a solid linkster as a Bulldog and continued on at St. Joseph's College. An internship at The Golf Channel lets you know where his heart is.

He has been a caddy off and on for much of the last five years. He worked on the Future's Tour in 2007, the Ladies European Tour until 2009 and a couple of LPGA events.

His keen eye on the greens and ability to not speak until a question is asked has put him on the bag of several quality women's golfers.

Today he will start his week at the USGA's U.S. Women's Open. He will caddy for amateur Casie Cathrea at the Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.

And it all started back in 2010.

Peschke was on Kim Welch's bag at the Bell Micro Classic in Mobile, Ala. Cathrea, then 14, was in the same group. The California kid hit a hole-in-one, but much of the round was filled with nerves.

That's where Peschke stepped in. Cathrea's father, Harry, noticed it.

"I told Harry after the round that he should be proud of his daughter, she played really well and she has a bright future. He said he noticed how I talked to Casie and how I calmed her down.

"So he asked if he could have my number."

Harry called Peschke three weeks ago and the local kid who has been a caddy at two Women's British Opens will now be heading to the biggest ladies tournament in America.

"I'm very excited to have this opportunity," Peschke said on Thursday. "The British Opens were a lot of fun, but this will be the biggest crowd I've ever worked in front of.

"The women in this tournament are outstanding. It should be a great week of golf."

Peschke and Cathrea will have practice rounds today, Tuesday and Wednesday. The tournament begins Thursday with the cut after Friday's rounds.

Cathrea has signed to play at Oklahoma State in the fall. She has been ranked as high as No. 3 among amateurs in the country. Making it to the weekend is something Peschke believes can happen.

He's seen the 17-year-old from Livermore drive the ball 280 yards. She won the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying event with a 140 at Lake Merced Golf Club in April.

She has gotten advice from LPGA legend Juli Inkster and Kay Cockerill and she's also friends with Ben Crenshaw.

Peschke now lives in Carmel and he said he's been riding his bike and running around his neighborhood so he is in shape for this week's big show.

He has high hopes that this can be a four-day rally.

"Making the cut would be a great achievement," Peschke said. "She has the ability to be the low amateur. It would not surprise me if her name popped up on the first page of the leaderboard."

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