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PGA Tour Confidential: Tiger's challengers, McIlroy's rebound and the absolute worst golf shots in history

Eddie Lowery
Courtesy of the USGA Archives
The story of 10-year-old caddie Eddie Lowery (front and center) urging Francis Ouimet (top) to victory at the 1913 U.S. Open is legendary.

5. Alan Shipnuck's recent Golf Magazine story about Eddie Lowery asked the question: why isn't Lowery, caddie to Francis Ouimet at the 1913 U.S. Open, member of the USGA executive committee and organizer of the legendary Match at Cypress Point, in the World Golf Hall of Fame? Should Lowery be in the Hall? What about other caddies?

SHIPNUCK: Lowery is a special case because of his many, many contributions to the game besides caddying. If you’re gonna have the likes of George H.W. Bush and Ken Schofield in the Hall, he certainly belongs. But I’d like to see a few true loopers make it, too. There’s no question they’re part of the folklore of the sport, and they have an effect on the competition at the highest level. I’d start with Tip Anderson and Bruce Edwards. Certainly Stevie and Bones warrant consideration, too.

SENS: Sure. Other sports halls have opened themselves to a wider spectrum of candidates (broadcasters, announcers, umpires, etc.) and the diversity has added character to the exhibits. Lowery has a good story and he left an important mark on the game. As long as the World Golf Hall of Fame is revisiting its criteria, it's worth broadening the lens. Carl Jackson is another who comes to mind. He had a lot to do with Crenshaw's second Masters win.

BAMBERGER: I'd put in Butch Harmon and Sandy Tatum and -- years from now when the memories are not so raw -- Steve Williams before Eddie Lowery. Eddie Lowery led a great golfing life, but it was in the shadows of the main stage. My friends Fred Anton and Jim Finegan have done about the same. Not every remarkable life has to be honored with a plaque. The joy of having lead the life should be enough. You can read about Eddie all day long. Plus, the man's on a stamp.

RITTER: Lowery's story is an important part of golf history, and therefore he deserves a place in the Hall. I'd apply this same test to other caddies. I think Stevie would go in, and there are probably a few others.

PASSOV: Sure, Eddie Lowry should be in the Hall. Why does the Hall have to be solely about the greatest players in tournament golf? The World Golf Hall of Fame should honor people who have made the most significant contributions to golf, whatever their relationship to the game.

MORFIT: Ouimet is part of the story of the game, as is Lowery, but to a lesser extent. The question is: if Lowery gets in, then where do you stop? There are a lot of famous caddies like Angelo (Jack), Herman (Trevino), Bruce Edwards (Watson). And most every great player has a supporting cast that becomes well known just by being constantly near the spotlight. 

VAN SICKLE: Eddie Lowery was part of an historic moment. Does the mere act of toting Ouimet's bag make him a Hall of Famer? Should Chi Chi Rodriguez be in the Hall of Fame for being an "ambassador" of golf? What about Dinah Shore and Bing Crosby? I'm not opposed to opening the Hall's doors to all sorts of golf-related types as long as they're placed in separate areas and not among the players, the real Hall of Famers. As far as including caddies, who really knows how good or effective any specific caddie is except for his or her player? The public, the media and even most other players would be ill-qualified to choose the honorees. 

6. Perhaps the shot of the year for 2013 (we didn't say which category) was Chi Chi Rodriguez's recent glass-backboard-to-groin effort in Puerto Rico. What's the worst result from a golf shot you've ever seen?

SHIPNUCK: I saw a dude kill a squirrel once at Rec Park in Long Beach, Calif. Furry little guy never saw it coming.

MORFIT: The worst result from a golf shot I've seen was either Van de Velde hitting the grandstand railing at the British, Phil hitting the railing at the Masters, or Tiger hitting the flagstick at the Masters. As for the type of result that befell poor Chi-Chi, I saw a guy blade one into another guy's shin at the VA nine-holer in Palo Alto, which sadly is no longer a golf course. 

RITTER: It was my buddy Brian Hutcherson, it happened three years ago, it was amazing, and it's right here.

VAN SICKLE: The Worst Shot Ever came during the Greater Milwaukee Open's media long-drive event on a Tuesday afternoon at Tuckaway CC. A sports department editor from the Milwaukee Sentinel took his turn and hit down on the ball so badly with his driver that he drove the ball straight into the soft turf and as the clubhead passed over the spot, the ball popped back and up and landed a foot behind where he had teed it up. He must've hit the ball with the driver's sole plate, I supposed, but the mechanics of that shot are amazing. You couldn't duplicate the effect if you tried.

PASSOV: I've seen the accounts of folks getting killed or maimed from golf shots, snapped shafts and such, which may or may not be funny, depending on what sort of sick sense of humor you have operating. If I had a few hours with this, I could probably pull some seriously wrong shots from my memory bank, but for now I'll go with my college roommate back in 1981, snap-hooking a tee shot on the third hole at Tucson's Randolph Park's South course (now Dell Urich Golf Course) onto 22nd Street, hitting a car windshield and causing a two-car accident. Ah, the fun we had as sophomores. 

SENS: In 1981, at Newton Commonwealth Golf Course outside Boston, I hit a giant banana slice off the elevated 18th tee and watched as the ball ballooned toward a parking lot crowded with cars. "Well," I said to my playing partner, "there goes somebody's windshield." I finished the round, had a drink in the clubhouse and went to my car a half-hour later to find its front windshield shattered and my ball sitting in my front seat. Poetic justice, I guess.

BAMBERGER: Same as Cheech. It was 1977. Still stings.

The PGA Tour Confidential debate continues Monday on our new weekly show hosted by Jessica Marksbury. Tweet her your questions @Jess_Marksbury.

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