The dollar signs were flashing in Brett Stouffer’s eyes.
His mother, Shelly Stouffer, had just cruised to a victory in the Round of 16 match play Tuesday at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Golf Championships.
The younger Stouffer, age 15, who was caddying for his mom for just the second time, was pondering a longer-term arrangement handling her golf bag.
“My price has gone up,” he announced. “I don’t make anything right now, so a couple bucks every now and then would be helpful.”
The way Stouffer has played at Anchorage Golf Course over the past three days, she may be prepared to foot the bill.
After firing a relatively pedestrian 81 the first day, Stouffer shot a sizzling score of 68 on Day 2 to finish in second place in the stroke-play portion of the event. And she hasn’t cooled off since the match play started Monday. She won her first match 5 and 3 and on Tuesday she won 5 and 4 over Lee Burton and 8 and 6 over Molly Steffes to breeze into the quarterfinals.
“It’s been fun,” she said Tuesday after needing just 26 holes to dispatch two opponents. “I like the course.”
Stouffer can even trace her hot streak back to a good luck charm her son fabricated early in Sunday’s round.
“Brett drew a little birdie on a ball that just stays in the cupholder (on the cart) and we just stare at that,” she said.
Stouffer has seen her share of birdies. She made five on Sunday and has continued her torrid pace through the week with eight more over two matches Tuesday.
So far Brett Stouffer has settled for travel benefits as payment, which hasn’t worked out too bad. Aside from the Alaska trip, which he admits he has enjoyed so far, there may be a possibility for future considerations.
“I did get an exemption to the Mid-Am down in Florida,” Shelly Stouffer said. “It’s during school, so now he’s like, ‘Maybe I want to come to Florida.’ ”
Now Brett is on board with caddying more regularly, but he was initially cool on leaving the family’s home in Vancouver Island, B.C.
“He wasn’t too thrilled to be coming with me when I first told him he’s coming with me,” Shelly Stouffer said. “I bought him a ticket and he was like, ‘I gotta go to Alaska?’ When he got here, he’s like, ‘This is so cool.’ ”
“It’s just been a lot of fun and it’s great hanging out with him,” she said. “He’s funny. He’s really funny and he keeps me kind of loose out there.”
Despite the partnership on the golf course, there are still plenty of signs of a traditional mother-son relationship with the Stouffers.
“The hard part is getting him out of bed,” she said. “He had to get up at a quarter to 6 this morning.”
Stouffer, 52, has a history of competing in Alaska. She went to school in Grand Prairie, Alberta, where she was part of a basketball team that played at the Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks in 1988. Her team won the silver ulu.
On Tuesday, Lynn Thompson continued her streak of upsets, toppling three-time defending champ Lara Tennant 2 and 1. Thompson, from Cincinnati, Ohio, was the 51st seed after stroke play.
Australian Sue Wooster continued her stellar play, advancing to the quarterfinals with a 5 and 4 win. Other golfers advancing to Wednesday’s quarterfinals were Kathy Hartwiger, Judith Kyrinis, Christie Blasi, Sherry Wright and Terri Frohnmayer.