For years Todd Montoya worked on tour, becoming one of the most dedicated and respected caddies in the game.
But as well as the bag, he was also carrying a secret with him – the fact he is gay.
Montoya, who has worked for Brian Stuard since 2016 after two decades caddying for a host of players, explained why he had chosen to limit who he shared the information with until now.
“I think that it was mostly because that was my preconceived notion about the society of people that probably encompass the golf community,” Montoya said in an interview with Golf Channel.
“I just felt like I would have a better opportunity to get and keep a job if I kept it hidden.
“Something that you kept secret for so many years, amongst people you consider your friends and your co-workers, over the course of time, you grow close to them. Until people that I care about know that I’m gay, they really don’t know me for my entirety.”
After hiding his sexuality for years, @PGATOUR caddie Todd Montoya told @kiradixon about finding those close to him that he could trust and his hopes to inspire others to be their most authentic self. pic.twitter.com/bE2tRu8nPd
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) March 9, 2022
Montoya previously caddied for Doug LaBelle and made the decision to tell him after he gained his PGA Tour card in 2006.
But for the next 15 years, he continued to only tell a select group of friends about his sexuality.
Although he began working with Stuard in 2016, it took four years until Montoya felt able to share his secret, something he admitted “weighed him down”.
“He told me that he’d been living with for a number of years and it would be tough thing to have to feel like you couldn’t tell anybody,” said Stuard.
“I just wanted to make sure that he knew that it didn’t change the way I felt about him, he’s always been the same Todd to me.”
Montoya added: “I went out for dinner that evening and a text came through from Brian that said ‘I just wanted to say thanks for another successful year and I just wanted to say that I really appreciate that you told me and that I feel very grateful that you consider me close enough for you to open up. Don’t think for one second that it makes me think any differently of you and the person you are.’
“I feel 100 per cent different. I feel like I’m walking on air. Brian has given me the greatest gift that I could ever get, I feel like he’s given me my freedom.”
Having struggled for so long feeling like he could not be himself on tour, Montoya hopes others can also find the courage to come out.
“My hope is that they can see someone who has taken that step and found in their life that it is okay to be yourself and be out,” he said.