Jun
18
2012
Dads take the bag on Father’s Day
By Stephanie Wei under US Open

Keegan Bradley with his dad Mark Bradley looping for him on the 18th

At the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, Kevin Streelman came up with an idea to share a special moment with his dad Dennis on Father’s Day. A player can change caddies at any time and Kevin confirmed it with the walking official.

Four years ago, heading into the 72nd hole on Sunday, Kevin teed off well ahead of the leaders, allowing him the opportunity to surprise his dad when he told him to switch places with his caddie Mike Christensen.

“So he caddied for me on the last hole on Father’s Day and I made a birdie,” said Streelman after he shot a five-over 75, +15 total at this year’s U.S. Open at the Olympic Club. “It was just a really cool moment.”

The plan this Sunday was the same as it was in 2008 — Dennis Streelman would caddie for his son on the 18th hole. At the last minute, Dennis graciously turned the opportunity over to Jim Coaker, a family friend who had flown out to San Francisco on a redeye to watch Kevin play the final round.

“I just thought of it in ’08,” said Kevin. “Since then, some people have picked up on it.”

This Sunday at Olympic, Steven “Pepsi” Hale facilitated a memorable Father’s Day for his boss Keegan Bradley, the reigning PGA Champion and his dad Mark, a PGA pro and ski instructor at Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club.

With Keegan teeing off three hours before the last group, the stars were aligned for him and his dad to share a very cool moment on Father’s Day.

It was more of a surprise to Keegan than it was to Mark, who had an idea of the plan when Pepsi told him before the round to meet him at the 18th tee.

At the walkway between the 17th green and 18th tee, Pepsi quipped, “I’m resigning,” and took off his caddie bib and helped Mark into it before he strolled down the 18th  to make sure he was “out of the way and not ‘helping.'”

What a thoughtful gesture by Pepsi, whose nickname stems from his ritual of stashing away sodas in secret hideaways around the golf course before the start of every tournament.

“It was the highlight of my life,” said Mark, beaming. “It was really a wonderful experience, to be walking the fairway with my son. To talk down the 18th at a U.S. Open is a dream come true.”

With his dad on the bag, Keegan hit his tee shot to the right side of the fairway, knocked his approach short into the bunker and then blasted it out of the sand to six feet. Though he missed the par putt and had to settle for bogey to shoot a seven-over 77, it was still a moment the 26-year-old will relish for years to come.

“It was a very cool experience that I’m sure we’ll never forget,” said Keegan, who shot a four-day total 18-over to place 68th at his first U.S. Open.

Happy Father’s Day.

(Photo via Facebook)