Golf

Legendary golf caddie Willie McRae dies at age 85

Legendary Pinehurst looper Willie McRae, who caddied for presidents, athletic superstars and anyone else who asked for nearly 75 years, has died at 85.

McRae, who retired from caddying at Pinehurst last year, caddied for five presidents, athletes from Mickey Mantle to Michael Jordan and golf greats such as Gene Sarazen, Bobby Jones and Sam Snead. McRae caddied in several of the game's most notable championships, starting with the 1951 Ryder Cup at Pinehurst No. 2, and extending to multiple U.S. Opens and U.S Women's Opens.

But McRae's wit, unrivaled knowledge of Pinehurst and his legendary golf acumen were not reserved for the the elites of society and sport. He began caddying at Pinehurst with his father at age 10 in 1943. He earned $1.75 a loop, along with a 50-cent tip.

McRae usually caddied for the common man. Of course, there was little common about McRae.

"To me," McRae often said, "everybody's a celebrity."

Eamon Lynch of Golfweek recalled one time when McRae was looping for him at Pinehurst.

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