CHASKA, Minn — Even after turning 66 last week, Bill Murray has still got it.
At Tuesday’s Ryder Cup Celebrity Matches, Murray was in full Bill Murray mode. He threw T-shirts into the stands, put on a full dance routine and punted a soccer ball into the gallery. And this was just on the first hole.
Each celebrity was introduced with theme music, and Murray strolled onto the first tee with a white bucket hat to the tune of the famed “I’m Alright” from Caddyshack. The match pitted Murray and musician Huey Lewis for the U.S. against Europe’s Niall Horan (of One Direction fame) and Paul O’Connell (an Irish soccer star). And the pressure was on: U.S. captain Davis Love drove Murray to the first tee and watched as the comedian and actor teed it up.
Horan is a world-renowned pop star, and his legion of fans may have had more high-pitched screams, but Murray’s cheers were unmatched in the group. And it’s for good reason. You might be tired of Murray’s schtick at this point in pro-ams and events – the outrageous clothes, funny hats, etc. – but he knows how to put on a show. Fans lined the fairways and greens like it was a Friday foursomes match instead of a friendly exhibition. Shouts of “It’s in the hole!” peppered the air, and after almost every shot Murray was playing to the crowd, making them feel a part of the action.
Oh, and about the match: the anchor group of this celebrity event proved to be the most competitive. Murray/Lewis maintained a slight lead throughout and were all square through nine holes. (Also, any 60-something would love to have Murray’s action. His long and languid swing is smooth and repeatable.) The Americans won the three other matches as well for a clean sweep. Now onto the real thing.