Caddie from Oak Hill’s first major tournament 75 years ago reflects on PGA

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. News10NBC’s Berkeley Brean met a caddie from Oak Hill’s first major tournament 75 years ago.

Dan Tormey was a college kid when he caddied in the 1949 U.S. Amateur here. He became a priest and is now retired living at the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester Motherhouse. And outside his window, he has a view of his old caddie days. I met Father Dan Tormey on Friday morning at the motherhouse. From his window inside, he can see Oak Hill Country Club.

Rev. Dan Tormey, retired priest, caddied in ’49 U.S. Amateur at Oak Hill: “I suppose it’s the sense of ending up in the same neighborhood after all these years.”

The 1949 U.S. Amateur was Oak Hill’s first major tournament. Tormey was in college and answered the recruiting call for caddies and waited outside the pro shop to be called.

Rev. Dan Tormey: “The thing I remember most about that particular day was it was pouring rain and we kept on playing. But to handle a big bag of golf sticks and an umbrella at the same time was a daunting task, to say the least.”

Rev. Tormey could give today’s caddies tips. He went on to serve in five parishes, minister in Elmira prison and was the chaplain at Rochester General Hospital and Strong Memorial Hospital. He remembers all the hard work 75 years ago, three practice rounds, three tournament rounds and shagging balls at the driving range.

Rev. Dan Tormey: “And when we were all finished this fella gave me the magnanimous sum of $75, which I don’t think any caddie would play one round for $75 today. For $75 it was well worth it and I still have all those great memories for $75.”

Rev. Tormey caddied for a lawyer out of Chicago. He was beaten by Julian Boros who would go on to win three major championships, including this tournament twice.