Ernie Els' arrangement with former NHL player Dan Quinn to carry his bag at this week's Masters Tournament may very well be his downfall allowing a grimacing, unshaven Tiger Woods to don yet another green jacket.
Els' plan to give both caddies a chance, and a stake, in his career is not a bad one but choosing a beginner over a veteran for a major event could pose trouble for Ernie.
Roberts, eighteen-year veteran on Els' bag, has helped Ernie to win all three major championships and fifty-seven victories whereas Quinn has been on Ernie's bag for seven events with this being his first Masters event.
Els doesn't seem convinced that either caddie will make a difference in the way he will play golf at the Masters.
"I don't think anybody can tell me anything more about Augusta than I already know. I've had local caddies take me through there. I've had everybody take me through there. So I know exactly where everything goes," mentioned an overly confident Els this week.
Could this self-assurance be Els' undoing at the Masters or is he correct that the final decision at the bag is really only his to make?
Roberts was on the bag when The Big Easy made those back-to-back wins but as Els' manager Chubby Chandler said, "Dan being an athlete is very positive. It's a new perspective. Ricci comes back and is fresher. It has worked out marvelously."
Shane Bacon of Devil Ball Golf points out that "the caddie isn't there just to give you course advice. They're the person that calms you and understands you and handles your nerves and remembers your strengths and weaknesses."
The question as to whether or not Ernie Els believes this mantra will soon be answered at the Masters. If Els wins, both caddies will understand that they serve a minimal function for him.
If he loses, Els will have an unfortunate as well as expensive learning experience.