Chance meeting leads to lifelong friendship
In his 25 years golfing the largest amateur tournament in the country, the Pine to Palm, Paul Krueger has had more than a handful of caddies.
Krueger, the 2009 Seniors Maud Flight Consolation Champion, returned to this year's tournament with more than just caddy memories. He brought along the son of his first caddy, Sally Schornack-Peine.
Sally Schornack was a 12-year-old Detroit Lakes native. The summer of 1982 found her on a mission to land a job as a caddy at the Pine to Palm Tournament, along with a neighbor friend. She arrived at the golf course intent on getting on the caddy list, but found the list rather full. She sought out other methods to get on the bag.
"I came here to get on the caddie list, but instead, I hustled Paul in the lower parking lot. Just a girl breaking all the rules. I knew I was not supposed to go down there," she said. "I'm pretty sure my neighbor never got a caddy job that year."
The slight and wily girl approached Krueger and his red Corvette, which he still drives to this day. There was something familiar about Paul.
"I thought I knew him thinking he lived on our beach. As it turns out, I didn't."
Must have just been a vibe.
"I asked him if he needed a caddy and he rented me a pull cart which was the cutest thing. I probably weighed 75 pounds," said Schornack-Peine.
"It was a pretty standard day," Krueger said. "I went on to win my match and my flight because I had this good caddie."
"We've just been friends ever since," said Schornack-Peine. "28 years and we bonded over a golf cart."
"Well, after nine holes, she was so tired she wanted to quit. I had to pay her double to keep her going," laughed Krueger.
Krueger is quick to note many of the positive changes Sally made in those 28 years, but there's a wily, little, 12-year old next to his mother who marks the most significant, Lukas Peine, Sally's son, Paul's new caddy.
Not surprising, Lukas' mother is still at it with the hustle.
"Paul and I were at a party and I told him you're going to have to step up because Lukas wants a new skateboard, a new lacrosse stick and a stand up Jet Ski," Schornack-Peine laughed.
According to Lukas, caddies in Chicago are pulling in $100 per round. His twenty-spot per round at the Pine to Palm may not make him enough to get everything he wants but it is his first golf gig and he came mentally prepared for the job.
"The best thing I like about caddying is after the round when he gives me the money," Lukas said with his mother's smile. "I could use a little bit more," he laughed.
There's a striking tangent between Lukas, his mom and Paul. All suffer a great sense of humor.
"Paul's super funny and and easy going guy and it was easy to offer up Lukas as a caddie because you couldn't ask for a nicer guy," Schornack-Peine said. "Paul is fun and doesn't take golf too seriously. He's also been really helpful, teaching Lukas some stuff and very complimentary."
"Lukas was a great caddie," Krueger said. "I was wondering how did he know all those things, like when to take the flag out, when to ask and other things like pulling the pin. He must have had training from his mother and Lukas has excelled in his duties as a generational caddie."
It's a good thing Sally has Lukas or she might find herself pressured to get back on the bag herself
"I tried to get her to caddy for me last year but it just didn't work," said Krueger.
Lukas is scheduled to be on the bag for Paul's final round on Sunday and is already looking forward to the 79th Pine to Palm Tournament in 2011.
"I hope to do it again next year," he said.