Watch a local fan step in as an unexpected caddie for a golfer at PGA event (2024)

Paul Emerson started out the final round of the RBC Canadian Open as a fan, but spent the middle of it as a caddie for a moment he’ll never forget.

The lawyer from Aurora, Ontario, in Canada went from behind the rope as a fan to carrying the bag of Taiwanese golfer C.T. Pan for two holes on June 2 after Pan’s professional caddie was injured in the middle of the round.

Veteran caddie Mike “Fluff” Cowan could not continue the round after he tripped and fell on the fairway of the third hole at Ontario’s Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

The caddie for Pan’s playing partner, Irish star Shane Lowry, initially picked up Pan’s bag.

While standing nearby, Emerson offered his services to help carry Pan’s bag, and Pan took him up on it. Next thing he knew, Emerson was sliding an official caddie bib over his red Masters T-shirt for a “Happy Gilmore” moment of going from the crowd to shouldering Pan’s golf clubs.

Emerson recalled in a video on the officialPGA Tour website, “I just said to (Pan), ‘Do you need a hand?’ And he said, ‘Yes, please.’ So I helped Fluff get the bib off and threw it on and started walking up the hole.”

The self-proclaimed “golf nut” got the thrill of a lifetime as he slipped inside the ropes and went from spectator to caddie, walking up the fairway to the third hole. He also popped up on the television broadcast.

Emerson asked Pan what he should do as they approached the hole, and Pan told him to just stay off the green.

“As we walked up the fairway, he said, ‘I’m not very chatty,’” Emerson said. “I was like, ‘Hey, I’ll talk as much or as little as you want, we’re good.’ He’s a really, really nice guy, really friendly.”

With Emerson standing off the green holding his bag, Pan rolled in a 20-foot putt for a birdie on their first hole together.

“One-for-one, Paul,” Lowry joked to Emerson on the broadcast.

“Yeah, great caddie!” Pan said.

Caddies often help their golfers read the greens on putts, but Emerson left this one to Pan.

“Hell of a read, right?” Emerson joked.

“It’s all downhill from here,” Lowry cracked.

Lowry was unfortunately right, as Pan bogeyed the next hole with Emerson on his bag.

On the fifth fairway, Emerson was replaced by Michael Campbell, a member of the caddie services team at the course. Campbell was then replaced on the 10th hole by Al Riddell, a professional caddie.

Riddell had been caddying in the tournament for French golfer Paul Barjon, but Barjon missed the cut and wasn’t playing in the final two rounds. Riddell lives only 15 minutes from the course and said he got the call to come help Pan finish the round.

Pan finished the tournament tied for 35th at 3-under par. He ended up working with four different caddies in the final round, but there’s one who will clearly never forget it.

“So on the fifth fairway, someone approached us and said he was sent by caddie services to replace me,” Emerson said. “I didn’t really want to stop, but he took the person who I guess had some local knowledge.”

Emerson said his only previous caddie experience came when he looped for a friend in a pro-am at the CPKC Women’s Open, an LPGA event.

Cowan, 76, who famously caddied for a young Tiger Woods in the late 1990s, suffered “nonserious” injuries, a PGA Tour official toldESPN.

Emerson’s shining moment wasn’t even the only caddie-involved drama of the tournament.

Scottish golfer Robert MacIntyre, 27, won his first PGA event by taking the Canadian Open title with his father, Dougie MacIntyre, serving as his caddie. The elder MacIntyre is a greenskeeper at a local course in Oban, Scotland.

“I want to win this for my dad,” he tearfullytold CBS Sportson the broadcast. “This is the guy that’s taught me the game of golf, and I just can’t believe I did this with him on the bag.”

A homesick MacIntyre said he enlisted the help of his father to caddie at the tournament. His dad got the call from his son a week earlier and flew to Canada to work with him.

“I’m a grass cutter, not a caddie,” Dougie MacIntyre said on the broadcast while fighting back tears. “It’s unbelievable.”

Scott Stump, TODAY

Watch a local fan step in as an unexpected caddie for a golfer at PGA event (2024)


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