My chat with Carl Spackler a.k.a. Bill Murray

As my dad, grandfather and I walked through the entrance of the 2006 FBR Open, I couldn’t make my wheelchair go fast enough. Every year I eagerly wait for the Open to make its way back to the TPC at Scottsdale.

It’s a week-long event full of huge crowds, Thunderdogs, and, of course, golf. As usual, the entrance tent is full of businesses trying to get customers to sign-up for weekend getaways and court side seats. Once we passed through the maze of offer and demonstrations, we set our sights on the 10th hole. 


The crowd was light and we had a clear view of the action so we decided to watch from there. The overcast skies lit up as the sunlight finally broke through the clouds. Slowly, the golfers made their way around the course when it was finally time for Bill Murray to make his presence known at the 10th hole.

Wearing a black and white Hawaiian-style shirt and shorts, Murray struts down the fairway towards the green.  His golf ball lands just in front of the green.  Slowly, he walks around the ball with his caddy, sizing up his next shot. “Chip it in the hole!” Shouts a man from the gallery. “Oh, don’t worry, just watch and be amazed,” Murray answers.

Murray approaches his ball cautiously before he takes his swing. After a few moments of concentration, he pulls back his club and swings.  The ball narrowly misses the cup and the crowd erupts in applause. Playing with the crowd, Murray tosses an apple he was eating into the crowd.

The eaten core sails through the gallery before it surprisingly lands in my dad’s outstretched hand.  My dad and I stare at each other in amazement as he tosses the core behind my wheelchair.  Suddenly, hordes of fans reach for the core as if it were a bag of money. “If anyone wants it, you can bid for it on ebay,” says the woman with the core, proudly lifting it in the air. 

(I guess there isn’t a huge market for chewed, celebrity food because no one bid for Bill Murray’s apple core.)

After Murray finishes his putt, he makes his way towards the Thunderdogs grill, but not before walking past my dad and me.  “You (My dad) got great hands,” says Murray. “You just reached out and snatched it.”  Murray took a few moments to chat with my dad and I before making his way to the next hole.

“Are you a Diamondbacks fan?” Asks Murray as he notices my hat. “If you are, then I can’t take a picture with you.”  Murray is an avid Chicago Cubs fan and we talk about the upcoming baseball season as my dad and other photographers take our picture.  After watching him in films such as Ghostbusters and Caddyshack, it is cool to see him in person.