At 5'10", Trevor Murphy is hard to miss. Just look for the guy with a very pretty blonde caddy. That's his wife, Amanda.
"You're not much bigger than one of those club bags," I said to her.
"Luckily, I only have to carry it on weekends," said Amanda.
TPC San Francisco Bay at Stonebrae presents Amanda with the notoriously toughest lug on tour. The course features spectacular, Scottish-style holes as part of a David Kidd design, but he built some of them a long way apart through hilly terrain.
"This job keeps you thin?" I asked.
"I eat a lot," said Amanda. "Three burgers the other night."
The couple met while in college at University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He proposed to her within three months, and they married in two years. Now, the Nationwide Tour has become an extended honeymoon of no-frills motels, and long periods away from their home in Scottsdale. It's a lot of togetherness for a young couple... constant, through work and play, but they don't mind. "We complement each other," said Amanda, who knew little of golf or caddying before taking this job. "I don't step in his line, and don't tell him what club to hit."
Trevor Murphy has done a good job of that on his own. As of this week, he ranked 44th on the Nationwide Tour money list, but at $17,901, that's hardly a fortune. It's a humbling amount for a tour rookie who hits the ball long, straight, and an average of 71.17 times per round from tees so distant that an average player might not even notice them. "I do hit a lot of fairways," admitted Trevor. His shots practically sizzle through the air, and often land within close proximity to seemingly impossible pins. He is not the most powerful player on tour, but certainly among the more controlled. "Trevor made the cut in last year's US Open at Bethpage," said Amanda.
Yes, he plays that kind of game.
Trevor Murphy is a converted, world class giant slalom skier from Vermont. He turned to golf in high school, when a knee injury forced him from competitive snow. "I've had a couple of lessons," said Trevor. But, aside from Amanda, he has no one else with him... no swing coaches, no entourage, and no attitude aside from being eminently polite, even through the long six hours we spent playing together in the Pro-Am Tournament.
"I love this life," said Trevor. "I could see myself doing it for another thirty years."
"Hopefully, you won't have to do it for thirty years unless you want to," I suggested. "Maybe you'll win The Masters. We can watch Amanda give you a big hug on television."
"I just want to get to The Masters," said Trevor.