Danny Noonan is going from looping at fictional Bushwood Country Club to the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
Michael O’Keefe, the actor who played Noonan, the star of “Caddyshack’’ 40 years ago, will carry a bag on Monday and Tuesday in practice rounds at the U.S. Open, according to a story first published by The New York Post.
O’Keefe will be caddying for Danny Balin, the head pro at Fresh Meadow Country Club on Long Island.
“Whenever I would meet someone and say, ‘I’m Danny,’ they’d go, ‘Danny, do you do drugs?’ ’’ Balin told The Post, a play off of one of the most iconic lines in the movie.
This side story to next week’s 108th national championship being played in Mamaroneck, New York, began when the actor O’Keefe, 65, offered his caddying services to any of the 156 players in the field in a story that ran on Golf.com.
O’Keefe grew up in nearby Larchmont and caddied at Winged Foot in 1971 and 1972, before he left for Hollywood to become an actor. O’Keefe’s brother Bill is a past president of the club.
“I thought, ‘What if there’ a golfer out there who’s willing to give me a shot to carry their bag?’ ’’ O’Keefe told The Post. “It’s not like I’m going to mess anybody up. I do know the course. It could be fun.’’
When asked how realistic he thought his chances were of getting a bag for the Open, O’Keefe told The Post, “I think it’s absolutely as big a long shot as Carl Spackler winning the Masters,’’ referring to the Bill Murray character who was the mentally unstable groundskeeper in the movie.
Well, this Cinderella Story out of nowhere came true with an assist from Michael Breed, the former Golf Channel instructional personality who teaches at Trump Ferry Point. Breed pitched the idea to Balin, his fellow Met Area pro.
“I try to take this somewhat serious, so I would never do this during a tournament round,’’ Balin said. “But I was like, ‘Yeah this will be cool. Danny Noonan. Monday and Tuesday.’ It’ll be a fun couple of days. It’ll lighten the mood up.’’
Balin said he DVRed “Caddyshack’’ on Tuesday night even though he guessed he’s watched the movie “15 or 20 times.’’
“I’m going to have to watch it to get the one-liners down so I can give it to him,’’ Balin said. “Because I’m going to be all over him during this whole … stunt.’’
Here’s hoping the good lord won’t disrupt the greatest round of his life.