Wednesday, October 31

Pinehurst Caddie Willie McRae Dies at 85; Said 'Everybody's a Celebrity'



WILLIE MCRAE BEGAN AS A CADDIE at Pinehurst in 1943. He was 10. McRae retired from his trade a year ago and died this past Sunday at the age of 85.

Like those TV spots for the insurance company say, McRae had seen a thing or two. He caddied for five presidents and famous athletes like Mickey Mantle and Michael Jordan.

It made no difference to McRae. According to a 2013 interview, the Pinehurst caddie treated everyone the same way.

"[E]verybody's a celebrity," he said. "We can't say well this guy's a celebrity because he played basketball or baseball or golf pro or whatever. But everybody's somebody and that's what you gotta take."

McRae collected $1.75 a round plus a 50-cent tip when he started looping 65 years ago. In the early days, those loops included Pinehurst No. 2 architect Donald Ross and golf legends Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan.

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