Bill at the Sardine Factory

the sardine factoryWe’d like to thank Brian for sharing today’s story.

This story happened at one of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournaments and must have been in the early 90′s when Bill’s playing partner was pro golfer, Scott Simpson.

I was sitting at the bar at the Sardine Factory in Monterey, near Cannery Row – a long time watering hole of Clint Eastwood’s – when some jerk comes pushing his way up to the bar and bumps right into my back. As I turn around to tell this so-and-so to take a flying leap, I immediately come face to face with a smiling Bill Murray – to my surprise, of course!

With his disarming smile and my immediate recognition of who he was, I could only think of one thing to say, “Can I buy you a drink?” He said no, as he was trying to flag the bartender to get more drinks for his sizable party in the adjoining private room. He was all smiles and people on all sides were high fiving him and shouting out his name.

As he stood next to me, I asked how he was playing in the Pro-Am, and he blurted out “I think we’re winning the whole f-n tournament” Everyone around just broke out laughing (as was Bill) and, at that, he just turned and headed back to his party.

As it turned out, I believe that year he and Scott Simpson were tied for First or Second Place after the second round. So he was actually blurting out the truth! The one thing that always stuck with me is how he was just being this big kid, having fun at everyone’s (including his own) expense – but without being hurtful or demeaning, and actually lots of fun! He appeared to be the same off-screen as on.

[Editor’s Note: Murray and Simpson have been playing together at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am since 1993. In 2011, the duo won the tournament, finishing at 35-under-par.]

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