OC golf coach Lynn becomes a last-minute caddy at U.S. Senior Open

OC men's golf coach David Lynn (left) walks to the No. 10 tee at Oak Tree National during the first round of the U.S. Senior Open while caddying for Fred Hanover (right).
OC men's golf coach David Lynn (left) walks to the No. 10 tee at Oak Tree National during the first round of the U.S. Senior Open while caddying for Fred Hanover (right).

EDMOND, Okla. (July 10, 2014) – David Lynn didn’t wake up Thursday planning to play a part in the U.S. Senior Open, but the Oklahoma Christian men’s golf coach jumped at the opportunity when it presented itself.

Lynn ended up spending the afternoon and early evening as a caddy for his friend Fred Hanover on a hot and humid day at Oak Tree National, a course with which Lynn is quite familiar.

Hanover, who’s from San Marcos, Calif., originally wasn’t scheduled to play in the tournament after failing to qualify from an event in Vista, Calif. But Hanover was told Tuesday by the U.S. Golf Association that he was the top alternate, so he traveled to Edmond and stayed with Lynn’s father, Greg Lynn (who is OC’s women’s golf coach) while waiting to see if he’d get to play.

The Lynns were hitting balls on the range at Oak Tree Country Club – across the street from Oak Tree National – when David Lynn received a text from Hanover that Jay Haas had withdrawn from the tournament due to a back injury, which meant Hanover would be in the field. But he needed a caddy.

David Lynn tried to drive his vehicle across the street, but wasn’t allowed to do so. So he returned his vehicle to the Country Club side of the street and grabbed a golf cart and drove underneath the road, through a tunnel that connects the Country Club side to Oak Tree National’s side. He drove the cart through the neighborhood surrounding Oak Tree National, then had to talk his way onto the course.

“I’m sure the (security) lady had heard it all before, how I needed to be let into the tournament even though I didn’t have a ticket,” he said, laughing.

He arrived at the No. 1 tee just in time to see Hanover tee off in a prime grouping that included local favorite Scott Verplank of Edmond and Jeff Sluman, who won the 1988 PGA Championship at Oak Tree.

“It was a pretty unreal experience,” Lynn said. “On that first tee, my heart was in my throat, it was so nerve-wracking, and I wasn’t even playing. It was so surreal.”

Hanover shot an 86 (15-over-par), but did manage a birdie on the par-4 No. 9.

Lynn had caddied before during some mini-tour events, but never in a major tournament. He’ll caddy for Hanover as long as he survives in the U.S. Senior Open, then head to Liverpool, England, early next week, where he’ll watch OC alum Rhein Gibson play in the British Open.

“That’s quite a two weeks of golf,” Lynn said.