EDMOND — Oklahoma Christian men’s golf coach David Lynn enjoyed his experience as a caddie at the U.S. Senior Open for 36 holes — well, 35 holes — at Oak Tree National.
Carrying the bag for Fred Hanover, an alternate who got a spot in the field on Thursday when Jay Haas pulled out, Lynn handed the bag to Hanover’s son, Jackson, for the 18th hole on Friday.
Jackson’s 14th birthday was Thursday.
Hanover, from San Marcos, Calif., was one of the top alternates after losing a playoff for a qualifying spot.
In addition to playing on minor tours, Hanover spent more than a decade as a college coach at Cal-San Marcos. That’s how he met Lynn, and the two became friends, each taking their teams to play in the other’s tournament each year.
When Hanover found out he was one of the top alternates for the Senior Open, he contacted Lynn to be his caddie.
But no call came on Tuesday or Wednesday. So by Thursday afternoon, Lynn had given up on getting his shot. He was across the street at Oak Tree Country Club, working with one of his OC players on the driving range.
“At 2:25, Fred sent me a text message that he was in and he was teeing off in 30 minutes with Scott Verplank and Jeff Sluman,” Lynn said. “I thought he was joking at first, but I went into full panic mode trying to get over here.”
Lynn jumped in a golf cart and drove across to the course, but didn’t have the right credentials to get in. He finally made his way in and went straight to the tee to start the round.
“I don’t know how many people were around that tee box, but it seemed like thousands,” he said. “It could’ve just been a hundred, but it seemed like a lot. I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life.”
Lynn has another such experience lined up for next week, too. Former OC golfer Rhein Gibson qualified for the British Open by finishing fourth in the Australian Open last December.
“We’re gonna go play some golf in Scotland for a couple days, then drive back down and watch him play at Royal Liverpool,” Lynn said. “I’m super-excited to do that. I’ve never been over there and I’m rooting for Rhein to have a good tournament.”