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Hawaii coach Scott Simpson on Bill Murray, LIV Golf and Greg Norman

Hawaii coach Scott Simpson on Bill Murray, LIV Golf and Greg Norman

4 Jul 1997: Scott Simpson (left) and his caddy Bill Murray smile as they follow his ball during the Motorola Western Open at the Cog Hill Country Club in Lemont, Illinois. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport

SS: We’d always play Wednesday at Cypress (Point). One of my favorite moments is the first year when he dragged a lady out from under the ropes and they’re dancing in the bunker and he lets her go. We were dying laughing, and then Bill falls down and does snow angels in the bunker.

So, we show up the next year, and a PGA Tour official, it was Duke Butler, he comes up to us on the first tee and goes, Scott, Bill, can I talk to you? He says, we’re going to be watching your group. We don’t want anything happening like last year, we don’t want you going under the ropes. Problem is, Bill hits half his shots out in the gallery.

Bill got so pissed because first of all, they did it to us kind of last minute, and he said, You’re going to do that to these pros? You’re going to put that in their mind while they’re trying to play golf? He was more concerned about us. So we get done, and he says to Duke, I want to see you after the round. I think we were playing Poppy Hills. So we meet at Pebble’s 18th and Bill, he’s really clever. He tore this guy apart, telling the guy, Do you even have balls? You’re not even a man, are you? He said, Beman tells you to do something and you just do it.

After a while, it was like, is Duke going to take a swing at him? Duke, to his credit, just said, Bill, I understand, but this is what we were told by Beman. We only watched you for a few holes, doing our duty, and then we didn’t bother you again. Duke was great. Bill was brutal. I wouldn’t have blamed Duke for taking a swing. Man, that was something.

We played with Mark Grace, the baseball player. We’re going to miss the cut so on the 18th hole at Pebble, Mark pitched him a baseball, Bill had a bat, and Bill hits a home run out into the ocean, ran all the way around the bases at the 18th green. I don’t think he slid. But he’s like, “This is my farewell. I will never play here again as long as that little Nazi Deane Beman is running the PGA Tour.” Three months later, Beman announced he’s retiring (in June after 20 years on the job). I called Bill and go, Wow, you’ve really got some friends. He quit. I don’t want to get on your bad side. Geez. So he kept playing. That was good.


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