Thursday, June 23
Umbrella Man Returns to Caddie at Travelers Championship
(Plucked and updated from the ARMCHAIR GOLF archives.)
HE’S BACK. UMBRELLA MAN has a new bag this week at the 2011 Travelers Championship. It’s his second caddie appearance at TPC River Highlands.
“What have you been doing?”
Anyone who watched golf telecasts in 2009 probably heard Umbrella Man ask that question to the kiddos in Travelers’ TV spot. The friendly man wearing a gray three-piece suit and sporting a snappy bowler helped stranded circus performers cross a lake and offered two kids a ride on his umbrella when their bike broke down.
The whimsical commercial gave one PGA Tour player an idea as he waited out long weather delays at the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage.
“I could use a cheerful man like that on my bag,” he told ARMCHAIR GOLF. “I like the part when he and the kids fly away on his umbrella. That’s so cool.”
The player asked not to be named in case the new arrangement didn’t work out, although he admitted it would be hard to miss the pair on the course.
“He’s still learning how to read a yardage book and rake a bunker,” the player said. “But if we have buckets of rain, my little gray-suited friend has me covered in a big way.”
At the time, some readers expressed concern.
“I’ve always been a little afraid of Umbrella Man,” commented Bob. “There, I said it.”
“He seems like a nice man,” said Mike, “but I’ve always lived by the credo that I shouldn’t trust a well-dressed person with a massively huge umbrella.”
Perhaps Mike was right because the first caddie assignment didn’t end well. During the second round, Umbrella Man lost his grip on his giant red umbrella on the 7th tee. The falling umbrella knocked a player to the ground in the middle of his backswing. Sustaining a mild concussion, the player was unable to finish his round and withdrew from the tournament.
That was the first and last time Umbrella Man caddied—until this week. Things are going well thus far at this year’s championship, especially during Thursday’s six-hour rain delay. Umbrella Man has never been more popular.
−The Armchair Golfer
(This is an ARMCHAIR GOLF spoof.)