If you’ve been around the sports industry long enough, one of the truly special features of the industry is the friends and support that develop around important, life-related matters.
The Caddie Network was fortunate enough to experience some of that at the 10th Bruce Edwards ALS Celebrity Golf Classic where Tom Watson, the Edwards Family and more than 15 mostly-retired PGA Tour caddies gathered to celebrate Bruce’s life and continue to support Tom Watson’s promise to bring attention and funds to the challenging task of finding a cure for ALS.
Writer, John Feinstein, author of Caddy For Life, a book on the life of Edwards and his special relationship with Watson, hosted the event along with some friends including David Feherty, Jay Bilas, Rick Barnes and Sam Jones. But the real stars of the day were Bruce’s great caddie friends, some of whom had not been together in 25-30 years.
These are the guys who came from a generation when they were paid $25 a week to carry the bag, traveled the roads together and pooled their money to eat and sleep. But it was also a group who combined for more than 75 tour wins, numerous major wins and Ryder Cup events. The list of guys is special including; Bill Leahey, Neil Oxman, Dennis Turning, Caycee Kerr, Randy Ernst, Herb Stevens and a few who are still working such as Mike “Fluff” Cowan, Steve Hulka, Smiley Thalmueller and, for good measure Linn Strickler, who handles the chores for Ben Crenshaw when help is needed.
It was a memorable three days these guys spent together, coming from every part of the U.S., to tell stories, shed some tears, but above all else pay tribute to Bruce and his legacy as a caddie, but more importantly a friendship and bond that will go on forever.