Joe Carr hitting 50 at Goodwill Tournament and still going
Joe Carr gazed in awe of the spectacular panoramic view on offer as he stood on the 1st tee at Mid Ocean Club.
“This is so fabulous,” the American professional golfer said, just before teeing off in the second round of the 68th Bermuda Goodwill Pro-Am at the Smith’s parish golf course yesterday.
“I love coming down here. It’s always special coming back to Bermuda.”
This year is even more special for Carr, as he is making what is believed to be an historic milestone at the Bermuda Goodwill.
The head professional of Bedrock Golf Club, the sole overseas team competing in the 2020 renewal, is making his 50th consecutive appearance in world golf’s longest-running Pro-Am.
“Fifty years, it’s amazing,” Carr said. “I never thought too much about it. But thinking back it’s a long time and a lot of memories.”
The 81-year-old made his tournament debut in 1971 and hasn’t skipped a beat since.
“In 1971, I was playing a tournament in Concord, Massachusetts, and I got paired with Walter King, who at that time was associated with Port Royal, I believe, when it was just opening,” Carr recalled.
“He said, ‘you ought to come down to the Bermuda Goodwill’. I said what the heck is that and he says, ‘that’s a Pro-Am that we have in Bermuda’.
“He says, ‘I’ll get you an invitation’ and I said, thank you. The invitation came in the mail and we brought a team down and I’ve been back ever since. We used to come down a two of three times a year to play golf and hang out at the White Heron.”
Carr made an immediate impact on his Bermuda Goodwill debut as he fired a sizzling five-under 66.
Bermuda legend Kim Swan, who was the American’s caddie at the time, watched in awe.
“When I caddied for Joe Carr in 1971, he was the first person that I had actually caddied for that I saw shoot a comfortable under-par round at Port Royal,” Swan, a former European Tour player, said. “He shot five under par that day and so that was an exciting experience for me and one that I never forgot.”
Swan added: “When Joe Carr came to Bermuda, Walter King, the first pro at Port Royal, told me to go out to him and grab his bag because Walter knew if you were going to learn something in golf, you had to be around the best players.”
A special ceremony paying homage to Carr’s remarkable streak will be held after the final round at Mid Ocean Club tomorrow.
“No one has done this before, so it’s amazing and is also a first,” Bob Corrao, the Bermuda Goodwill Tournament director, said.
Carr added: “I appreciate what Bob Corrao has done. It’s really good.”
This year’s 72-hole, best-ball event has been scaled back considerably as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and also features three local teams — two from Mid Ocean Club and one from Port Royal Golf Club, which is co-hosting the tournament.
Introduced in 1953, the Goodwill Tournament has become a staple of the Bermuda golf calendar, attracting overseas amateurs and professionals to the island annually.