is the Big Guy on the right next to Ken Brown, for whom he once caddied for in
the Ryder Cup at the Belfry when Europe beat the U.S. in 1985, ending a 27 year
drought for the European Team. Just to the left of Ken Brown, seen walking
forward (side head shot), is Edward –The Duke of York, second in line to the
throne to Prince William. (Pix taken while Brian was working for the BBC at the
2001 Ladies British Open at Sunningdale.)
Q.) How did you first get
A.) I was a machinist for a while but then quit that to
deliver milk from 5:00 A.M. to noon each day, so that I could play golf in the
Q. ) So you got to be a
pretty good player?
A.) Decent –about a 6 handicap or so.
Q.) Then how’d you get into
pro caddying from there?
A.) I caddied for a kid who was a junior champion he was
14 and around in other junior tournaments when he played, starting in around
1972, for the fun of it. Then I knew a guy who got his card to play on the
European Tour, and I took a week off to go and caddy for him in one of the
tournaments. I enjoyed that so I decided that the following summer I’d take
off work and go caddy the European tour. I caddied for him for two or three
tournaments, and then went to work for John O’leary –one of the better
players out there and worked for him full time.
Q.) Were there many guys
doing it at that time?
A.) Most of the tournaments were in England, and there
were guys who just caddied when the European tour played there. There were only
about 15 or so guys who caddied those and all the rest in Europe full time.
Q.) Who were those
A.) Me, Dave Musgrove, Peter Coleman, Rocket Rod, Scotty,
Q.) So from 1975 to 1978 you
worked for primarily two guys, O’leary and Peter Dawson, and assorted others
on different weeks. And then after that?
A.) Then in 1978 I caddied for Andy Bean in the World
Match Play at Wentworth. Then the following year I got to work for Bill Rogers,
who came over after having just won the Texas Open, and we won the world match
play which was a pretty big break for me. And it was worth a lot of money in
those days. I think the price money then was about 35 thousand pounds, which was
about $50,000 –big money in those days.
Q.) Was that when you got to
experience the ‘Winds of Change", and start thinking about coming over to
the U.S. and caddying?
A.) A few American caddies were coming over –Nick
Depaul and Russ Steib, who encouraged me to come over to the U.S. and caddy. So
in 1980 I came over and the first guy I got to work for was Gene Littler. I
worked for him for 6 weeks and he was not planning on playing a lot in the
upcoming summer, so I got hooked up with Andy North in Jacksonville that Spring
and started working for him full time for about three years standing.
Q.) Did you win any
A.) We finished second a couple of times, always played
well in the U.S. Opens. He was a top player back then.
Q.) Then who’d you have?
A.) I got to work for Aoki in 1984, a friend of mine Nick
DePaul got hurt and asked me to caddy for him. Then after a period of time, Nick
got better, but Aoki wanted to keep me on the bag. So I worked for him steady
for a few years.
Q.) Then you were on the bag
in 1984 when Aoki beat Jack Renner at Waialae, when he holed out the wedge shot
from the left hand rough to beat Renner by a shot there?! What other wins did
you have with Aoki.
A.) The European Open at Sunningdale in ’84’ also.
Q.) When did you go to Japan
to caddy for him?
A.) He was cutting back on his playing over in the U.S.,
in 1986 and I got to caddy for him some in his native country of Japan.
Q.) Then who’d you work for
A.) I worked for Mark Lye for a year, then I had Kenny
Knox for a year, and then I went to work for Gary Hallberg in about 1987 or a
little later, other people in between.
Q.) Then you won with
Hallberg in 1992 at Callaway Gardens.
A.) Also Won with Steve Jones in an early TPS event in
Q.) How many majors did you
get to caddy in your career?
A.) Got to caddy about 5 or 6 Masters, had Hallberg, Mark
Lye, Kenny Knox, and mostly Aoki there.
Q.) How many British Opens?
A.) About 15 of them. One year
didn’t go with Bill Rogers at Royal St. Georges, was a very long golf course
and didn’t feel it suited his chances, and of course he won it!
Q.) I remember you and
Hallberg had a legitimate shot to win the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 1992,
until the back nine on Sunday when Tom Kite got his U.S. Open win and first
major. And you caddied in how many Ryder Cups?
A.) Two. I caddied for Bill Rogers in 1981 when it was one
of the best Ryder Cup teams of all time. There was Rogers, Jack Nicklaus, Tom
Watson, Raymond Floyd, Johnny Miller, Lee Trevino, Lanny Wadkins, Bruce Lietzke,
one of the best teams ever. Then I caddied in 1985 at the Belfry for Ken Brown,
and the European team when they won it ending a 27 year lapse of losses by Europ
in the Ryder Cup. So I think I’m definitely the only caddy to have caddied for
the two different sides and won each way!
Q.) Any other wins?
A.) The Women’s British Open with Akamoto, at Woburn,
she won by 11 shots! And once won with Tim Simpson –the World Under 25
Championship in Paris, and he won that by 10 shots!
Q.) You guys had a lot
of experiences traveling in the ‘70’s in Europe. Didn’t you once have a
van which you drove all the players clubs from tournament to tournament?
A.) It was pretty tough traveling back then, no one
in Europe hardly spoke any English, and there were border checkpoints to each
country. Sometimes you’d take a bus, a car, a train, then maybe a ferry, as
was the case to get to the Italian Open one year, as it was in Sardinia, on an
Island. There were a lot of laughs too!
Q.) Then you caddied a while
on the Senior PGA Tour?
A.) In 1997 I had no job on the PGA
Tour and on my way across the country, I stopped in at San Antonio to see some
caddy friends who were caddying on the Senior tour there, and John Schroeder and
his caddy had just parted ways, so I got to caddy for him that week, and went
with him for about a year of so. Then I got to caddy for Mike McCullough for
‘Big Brian’ is now living back in the U.K. in the
southwest of London, and currently works at the Wizley Golf Club, an exclusive
golf club where Colin Montgomerie is a member. Brian works the bag room, and
makes caddy arrangements for the members there. He is best reknowned caddy
antiquarian golf book collector and a very knowledgeable person on a lot of
subjects. A really smart guy, and he still can remember when he was a small
child, and Hitlers’ Lutwaffe bombing of London. He’s 62 years old now, and
caddied internationally for more that 25 years!
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