Catching up with Ryerson legends: How a former Rams hockey player became a professional caddie

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By Lara Kuipers

One year ago, Mitchell Theoret was playing hockey overseas in the Czech Republic. Today, he’s a professional caddie for Canadian golfer Taylor Pendrith on the Korn Ferry Tour (formerly the Tour)—which is directly below the PGA Tour.

Theoret received a call around two years ago from Pendrith—whom he grew up playing junior golf with—asking if he knew anyone living in Windsor, Ont., that he could stay with for an upcoming golf event.

Theoret did: Former teammate and current Ryerson Rams men’s hockey forward Devon Paliani, who he knew from his time playing at Ryerson.

After Paliani agreed to let Pendrith stay with him for the week, Pendrith extended the invitation to Theoret to be his caddie for the event.

Theoret said yes, and the two ended up tied for fourth in the tournament.

When the next season came around, Pendrith asked Theoret if he wanted to be his full-time caddie. Theoret said yes again, and together they were able to continue their success, finishing second on the Mackenzie Tour’s year-end money list.

This granted Pendrith status on the Korn Ferry Tour, a step above the Mackenzie Tour, and just below the PGA Tour.

But before Theoret’s time in Europe and caddying for Pendrith, he was a member of the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team for two years.

Notably, he was a part of the 2016-17 Rams squad which featured two future First-Team All-Canadians, Alex Basso and Matt Mistele; Second-Team All-Canadian Aaron Armstrong, and was captained by two-time OUA First-Team All-Star Michael Fine. That season holds the franchise records for most points (46), most wins (22), most goals (136) and fewest goals allowed (76) in a single season.

Theoret made a healthy contribution to the success of the 2016-17 Rams scoring seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 24 games.

“I don’t have any negatives to say about Ryerson, it was all positive…great group of guys, great coaching, and school was great,” said Theoret. “I only have fond memories of my time at Ryerson.”

Despite a successful second season—his first active season—with the Rams, Theoret ultimately decided to leave and pursue a professional hockey career in Europe.

After his two seasons in Europe, Theoret debated whether to return for a third season or take up caddying as a full-time job.

“[Caddying] seemed like more fun at the time and so now that’s what I’m going with,” said Theoret on his decision.

However, Theoret still finds ways to bring his hockey background into being a caddie.

“In hockey, you have a bad shift, you’re out there like a minute later. Whereas in golf, you have a bad shot, it can really affect your whole round. So, I think from a mental aspect and a mental standpoint I can help [Pendrith] in more ways than just getting yardages and talking through shots and stuff like that,” Theoret said.

Together, Theoret and Pendrith were off to a great start on the Korn Ferry Tour, having missed just one cut in six starts before the Coronavirus -pandemic caused many of the upcoming events to be cancelled.

While money is at stake for each tournament they play in, so are the points the golfers gain with each finish.

At the end of the Korn Ferry Tour’s regular season, the top 25 players on the points list are granted status on the PGA Tour. After the playoffs end, an additional 25 players are also granted PGA Tour status.

So far this season, the duo earned three top 30 finishes and have tied for 24th at the Panama Championship: where Pendrith held the 18 and 36-hole lead. He currently sits at No. 54 on the Korn Ferry points list with 104 points.

Moving to the PGA Tour would have them playing alongside golf legends like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson.

Even now on the Korn Ferry Tour, they’ve played on fields that once hosted Canadian golf legend Mike Weir, who won the Masters in 2003.

“Now being on the Korn Ferry and just getting the whole experience and being that close to the PGA, I mean it’s really—it’s a whole different game, it’s a whole different world,” said Theoret.

Theoret said it’s even more exciting to be able to caddy alongside someone he’s known for so long.

“It’s actually quite exciting. Especially being able to help [Pendrith], who I’ve known since we were about ten years old, sort of chase his dreams now after I was able to pursue mine,” Theoret said.

“It’s almost even more rewarding to help him succeed.”

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