His assignments have included the Olympics, March Madness, the Triple Crown, Stanley Cup, Super Bowl and World Series.There are many benefits to being a caddie, as Long Island teenagers Alex Cifuentes and Matt Sledjeski both can attest.
Cifuentes, a Bellmore resident who will graduate Sunday from Mepham High, and Sledjeski, a Cutchogue resident who graduated last Saturday from Mattituck, both found that years of carrying bags will carry them.
Each is a winner of the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship.
You learn so much, you can't go wrong." Zach Ziegler, The Bridge, fifth hole, 144 yards, 9-iron Casey Alexander, Glen Head CC, 12th hole, 159 yards, 7-iron Alan Brey, Sumpwams Creek GC, ninth hole, 165 yards, 5-iron Mark Zusy, Engineers CC, 14th hole, 126 yards, pitching wedge Cliff Saffron, Engineers CC, ninth hole, 185 yards, 4-hybrid Gerard Connors, St.
George’s CC, ninth hole, 142 yards, 8-iron Bill Peters, Swan Lake GC, 16th hole, 124 yards, 4-hybrid Kirby Coughlin, Swan Lake GC, 16th hole, 96 yards, 52-degree wedge Scott Kaufman, Woodside Club, 14th hole, 134 yards, pitching wedge Jeffrey Zwecker, Cold Spring CC, third hole, 145 yards, 8-iron Jennifer Roberts, Heatherwood GC, 10th hole, 110 yards, 7-wood Anthony Peterson, Heatherwood GC, 12th hole, 112 yards, 6-iron Since 1983, Mark Herrmann has covered Brookhaven, Southampton and East Hampton on the news side, and high schools, the Islanders, the Mets and golf for Newsday sports.
Billy Muller, National’s caddie master, said, “When I hire caddies, I ask, 'What’s your handicap?
’ Some of them say, 'I don’t play.’ There’s a red flag.” He added that Sledjeski can relate to golfers’ sense of course management. He’s a good kid.” Ann and Tom Sledjeski’s son, one of four children, said he is not sure if his parents still can believe what was in the acceptance letter.“They know how much golf has meant to me in my life,” he said.“It’s like a perfect opportunity.” Cifuentes carries an 8 handicap and might try to walk on at Penn State when he is an upperclassman.By then, he and his parents had done their homework on the program. Among those was Ed Murray, who once caddied for Evans himself and whose brother Bill made a famous movie about bag-toters, "Caddyshack." Most of all, Telese learned how wise he was to choose caddying as a summer job when he was a high school sophomore.They learned that the scholarship was established in 1930 by Evans, who had started as a caddie and became the first to win the U. "I had heard good things about it, so I called up a bunch of different clubs," he said.Ryan Telese of Glen Cove learned that right away, enjoying every minute of being around people of varied ages and walks of life.What he never expected was that carrying bags at The Creek in Locust Valley would pay for his entire four years at college. I didn't ever think I'd be awarded something like this.“It was life-changing,” said Sledjeski, who caddies at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton. Instantly, I knew it was going to be something special.” Cifuentes was on a snowboarding vacation when the package arrived and he asked his parents not to open it.“I got it, I opened it and it was probably the greatest moment I’ve ever experienced,” said the caddie from Rockville Links in Rockville Centre.It's such a longshot," he said on the phone from Penn State, where he is two weeks into his freshman year.Actually, it is not as much of a longshot as it used to be around here.