Funniest thing about the Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am, the last tuneup for the PGA Tour stars competing in this week’s BMW Championship at Conway Farms in Lake Forest.
The player grabbing the most attention wasn’t one of the professional golfers. It was actor/comedian Bill Murray, a long-time favorite in such golf events. Not only did Murray play in the tourney’s pro-am for the first time, so did his five brothers.
Murray was in a foursome headed by Charley Hoffman. Brothers Brian, Ed and Andy played with Gary Woodland and John and Joel Murray teed off with Jim Furyk. The pro-am also included Bears’ legend Brian Urlacher and new Bulls’ coach Fred Hoiberg, but Bill Murray was clearly the star of the show.
Hoffman led his team to the tee immediately after the first afternoon group – one headed by PGA champion and current FedEx Cup point leader Jason Day – teed off. As soon as Day’s group left the tee the gallery around the tee tripled in anticipation of Murray’s arrival and he had a following all the way around the course.
All the Murrays were caddies at the Indian Hill Club while growing up in Winnetka. They’re also partners in a popular Florida bar restaurant named CaddieShack, the name being derived from a popular golf-themed movie that had Bill as one of its stars.
Dressed in colorful, clearly non-traditional golf attire, Bill Murray delights galleries with his on-course antics but he’s had playing success, too. Paired with Illinois native D.A. Points, Murray has been a winner in the PGA Tour’s longstanding AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach in California. This year he also was a hit at the John Deere Classic Pro-Am in the Quad Cities.
After Wednesday’s pro-am all six Murray brothers were inducted into the Caddie Hall of Fame in a ceremony in the Conway Farms clubhouse.