The heartwarming story of Nick Price and Squeek’s British Open victory walk
Thanks to the wonders of streaming services like Netflix (which, if you haven’t heard of it, is quite good, should probably check it out), I’ve spent most of the build-up to the British Open ripping through episodes of “Chronicles of a Champion Golfer.”
The series — an R&A project backed and distributed by the Golf Channel, among others — is in its third season, and the premise of the show is pretty simple. It’s a documentary series featuring the voice of one golfer, describing his journey to winning the British Open. It’s brilliantly well done, beautifully shot, and contains so many wonderful stories within.
Which brings us to Nick Price and his caddie Jeff “Squeeky” Medlen.
Price is one of the new slate of Open champions to feature this season, and his journey to “Champion Golfer of the Year” certainly makes for a great one. There was his collapse in 1982, where Price squandered the lead late on Sunday with a double bogey on the 15th and another bogey on 17 to lose by one. And then there was 1988, where Price found himself on the wrong side of a legendary shootout with Seve Ballesteros. But his story about the moment he shared with his caddie in 1994 tops the lot.
Squeeky took up with Price in 1985 and, aside from a last-minute decision to caddie for John Daly en-route to his PGA Championship victory in 1991 while Nick Price attended the birth of his son, remained by his side every step of the way.
In 1994, the stars finally aligned for what Price considers their career achievement. Price walked to the green on the 72nd hole at the 1994 British Open with a one-shot lead, victory essentially secured. That’s when he noticed Squeeky lagging behind:
“I’m walking up there and Squeek is lagging behind and I said, ‘what are you doing?’ he said, ‘no, you go, you enjoy it.’ I said ‘get your ass up here. You get up here now. I said, ‘this is us. We’ve won this together,'” Price says in the episode.
“We walked up to the green together, it was just a fantastic moment.”
Damn, is it me, or did it just get real dusty in here?
They didn’t know at the time, but Medlen would pass away just three years later, at the age of 43, after being diagnosed with chronic myelogenus leukemia.
Squeeky lives on as a member of The Caddie Hall of Fame, and Price champions his memory in the episode. He speaks of a bond they shared — a bond whoever wins this week will no doubt share with his caddie.
“I owe my caddie, Squeek, so much,” Price says, recalling the moment. “He was such a part of my success.”