Along with Englishman Dave Musgrove, Dave (Buddy) Renwick holds a record all other caddies can only aspire to. Both have been on the bags of three different golfers as each won major championships. In Renwick’s case, he stood alongside Jose Maria Olazabal (1994 Masters), Steve Elkington (1995 PGA) and Vijay Singh (1998 PGA, 2000 Masters, 2004 PGA) when they claimed the biggest titles of their careers.
It is a record, sadly, that Renwick will take to his grave. A victim of cancer, the 62-year-old Scot passed away at home in East Calder, just west of Edinburgh, on Feb. 4. As a mark of respect, players, caddies, media and officials wore black ribbons during the second round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
Renwick was a life-long fan of the Glasgow Rangers Football Club, an avid and successful green bowler and a former oilrig worker in the North Sea. And his time on tour was rarely short of incident.
Tragically, he was asleep at the wheel of a car in which two of his fellow caddies died as he drove home overnight from a tournament in France. A mugging in Edinburgh left Renwick beaten-up and with a detached retina that, ultimately, cost him his job with Elkington. And three years ago Rory McIlroy was penalized two-strokes after Renwick, caddieing for the Irishman’s playing partner, Ricardo Gonzalez, noticed McIlroy had taken an improper drop during the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
But it was with Singh that Renwick enjoyed the most success. In 2004, the pair won nine times on the PGA Tour. But, as was sometimes (!) the case where Renwick was involved, there was conflict behind the scenes, and the pair parted the following year.
The same occurred not long after Olazabal’s victory at Augusta in ’94. Annoyed that he had not been paid as much as he thought he should have been, Renwick “fired” his boss and failed to turn up for that year’s Spanish Open. It was a mark of how highly the Spaniard thought of the Scot that Olazabal flew to Edinburgh in what turned out to be an unavailing attempt to change Renwick’s mind.
In so many ways then, Dave Renwick fit a variety of Caledonian stereotypes: Tough and uncompromising, an occasional hard drinker, honest to a fault.
And a bloody great caddie.