CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- While her competitors conferred with their caddies about club selection and reading putts Monday, Jordan Britt kept most of her thoughts on the game to herself.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga standout's usual caddy was not able to attend the U.S. Women's Amateur sectional qualifier at Dalton Golf and Country Club, but as it turns out, Britt didn't mind it one bit.
"It was a great time. I had one of my good friends caddy for me," Britt said coyly.
When pressed, she revealed that friend's identity.
"He is a former UTC football player named Josh Williams."
Williams needs no introduction to anyone who follows UTC athletics.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound defensive end wrapped up his college career last fall as the Mocs' all-time career sacks leader with 23.5.
However, the former All-SoCon selection did need an introduction to the game of golf.
"My biggest thing I kept telling myself all day was do not do anything to embarrass Jordan on the golf course," a laughing Williams said Tuesday.
That was easier said than done considering Sunday's practice round was the first time Williams had ever stepped on a golf course.
To break him in, Britt gave him a crash course on the unique ways of the sport.
"We were able to iron out all the kinks about etiquette and where he was supposed to stand during the practice round," Britt said. "I might have had to tell him to move over a few times, but he did a really great job."
Once on the course, Williams did his best to look the part.
"He would throw the grass up a few times and say, 'I think it's blowing in that direction,'" Britt said with a smile.
Even though he didn't actually "look the part."
"The funniest thing was watching him maneuvering the bag. We tried adjusting the straps, but it never really fit right," she said.
Added Williams: "The bag definitely wasn't built for my size. I just had to put one shoulder in a strap and duck down low and try to make it work."
If nothing else, he at least knew when to celebrate, throwing up what Britt described as "an awkward fist pump" when she chipped in for her first birdie of the day.
"That shot was so beautiful, I just got beside myself and did some weird shimmy move," Williams admitted. "It was pretty embarrassing."
Britt made sure he was properly attired with a colored shirt and comfortable shoes, which unfortunately became victims of the muddy conditions.
"He did such a wonderful job, but I just felt so awful because his shoes were completely ruined," Britt said.
But Williams said the sacrifice was simply the price of victory.
Britt was on her game Monday, carding a round of 73 to finish fifth overall in the qualifier and earn a spot in next month's U.S. Women's Amateur Championship in Charleston, South Carolina.
The former Signal Mountain and GPS star is just the third UTC player to make the field for the prestigious event.
"I didn't realize how big a deal it was until we got back to Chattanooga and she had so many calls and texts," Williams said. "I was like, 'Man JB, you did a really great thing!'
"I was just really proud of her."
While Williams couldn't offer many swing tips, Britt said he still played a large role in her success.
The rising senior plays her best golf when she is relaxed and having fun, and Williams' upbeat attitude offered the perfect remedy for the high-pressure competition.
"He kept me in a good mood the whole day. We were just all smiles," Britt said. "He's not a golfer, but he's still an athlete so he understands how to handle what's happening out there.
"He helped take the pressure off and was there if I had a bad hole. He kept telling me to shake it off, keep breathing and remember there's plenty of golf left."
So with their team's success, will Britt be bringing her new caddy to the big stage in Charleston?
"Maybe we need to teach him to read greens first," she said with a grin.
Even if he's not on the bag, Williams has no plans of missing it.
"I'm going to do everything I can to get to Charleston and see her play," he said. "Even if I'm on the sidelines, I'll be glad to see her play and support her."
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