Willie McRae and Jackie Burke, together again

There are just two participants from the 1951 Ryder Cup at Pinehurst still living. One of them is Hall-of-Famer Jackie Burke, who at 92 years old, is still active in golf.

The other is Hall-of-Fame caddie Willie McRae, who is still looping at Pinehurst.

On Tuesday, the two spoke, likely for the first time in more than 60 years.

Burke, a two-time major champion who initially rose to fame with two lopsided victories in the United States’s triumph over Great Britain and Ireland in 1951, has been a longtime mentor for 1995 PGA Champion Steve Elkington. On Tuesday, Elk was in Pinehurst for his television show, Secret Golf, to do a feature on Willie. Moments after finishing up a chat with Willie on Pinehurst’s Maniac Hill, Elk got a phone call. It was Burke.

Elkington, telling Burke he had someone he wanted Burke to speak with, handed the phone to Willie. Elk’s crew quickly turned the camera back on, and while our audio isn’t great – and unfortunately  nobody thought at the time to put Burke on speaker – we still feel like we captured a pretty special moment in golf history. You can hear the joy in Willie’s voice, and based on his side of the conversation, you get a pretty good idea of what Burke had to say to Pinehurst’s legendary caddie.

We caught another nice moment earlier in the day when Willie decided to sing a gospel tune for Elk and the crew:

 

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