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Caddie Scholars Featured at 69th Ike Championship

Caddie Scholars Featured at 69th Ike Championship

Youth caddies at the 69th Ike Stroke Play Championship at Nassau Country Club.

GLEN COVE, N.Y. (June 28, 2024)—Nassau Country Club hosted the 69th Ike Stroke Play Championship this week, and a pair of caddie scholars–William Merkel and Noah Rubin–carried bags for competitors during the 54-hole event.

Merkel is a caddie scholar at the University of Notre Dame, and Rubin attends Elon University (N.C.). Both of them carry bags. Merkel caddied for Patrick Mainey of Powelton on Monday and Tuesday. Merkel also caddied for Liam Brandt of Black Oak on Tuesday afternoon. Rubin had the bag for Lucas Rizo-Patron of Pelham Country Club during the final round after carrying the bag for Andrew Stickel in the first round.

“Caddieing for members is a bit different than caddieing for a tournament, which I hadn’t done before,” said Merkel. “There was a little more pressure than usual, but since this is my eighth year here, I don’t think it affected [me and my player] too much. With the quality of golfers out here today, they’re always up for a challenge, and so am I.”

“These guys are so good. They analyze every shot and can pick out the types of shots they want to hit and where they want to be, which is so different from normal rounds with members,” noted Rubin. “Members are more laid-back and want to perform well, but there is the aspect of having fun with their friends, while in the Ike, it is all competing to win.”

Merkel added, “This place is like my second home during the summer when I come home from school and even back when I was in high school. To have been here so long and made myself known at this place. It’s been fantastic.”

“Being a Caddy Scholar has given me a heightened sense of the impact that my job has had on the people I have caddied for and helped me realize so much more about my job,” Rubin continued. “Caddieing is more than just holding bags and finding golf balls; it is about connecting with the players and making their experience more enjoyable at the course, whether weekend rounds with members or important tournaments like the Ike [Championship].”

The pair are two of the five caddie scholars from Nassau for the 2023-24 academic year. The other two are Liam Jensen, who attends Long Island University, and Giovanni Troia, who attends St. John’s University.

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