"Lee Trevino and the White Cadillac Professional." It sounds like a title from the late Camilleri, but it is part of the many incredible moments in the life of Lee Trevino, one of the strongest golf professionals ever known.
Prior to joining the pro tour, Lee Trevino made a living playing cash games all over Texas.
Lee Trevino, history
For a time he worked on a pitch-and-putt course challenging all the locals by using a bottle of Dr. Pepper wrapped with duct tape instead of the ball.
He rarely threw more than 30 shots! In the early 1960s, while Lee was working as a professional assistant at Horizon Hills Golf Club, in El Paso, where Martin Lettunich, a wealthy cotton producer and avid golfer, organized his challenges.
Lee played one of these matches against Fred Hawkins, one of the strongest gamblers of the 1950s, beating him. In the most famous of these games, Lettunich made him meet Raymond Floyd, already a well-known Tour player at the time.
As soon as Floyd showed up at the entrance of the Horizon Hills clubhouse driving his white Cadillac, Trevino rushed to greet him and politely asked if could have brought his bag to the pro-shop. Floyd nodded at the request and was led into the locker room by Trevino himself who took care of opening the bag, taking the shoes and cleaning them.
Floyd paid him, then asked: "Who will I play with?" "Who is he facing?" Trevino said. "You?", Exclaimed Floyd, looking down at this scruffy looking caddy with walnut brown skin, coal black hair and very white teeth, 1.68 meters tall by 82 kilos.
"You mean they bet on you?" When someone asked Floyd if he would like to take a look at the field, Raymond yelled: "For heaven's sake, no! I'm playing against the locker room boy. I don't need to look at any path.
The match was held over the distance of fifty-four holes in three days. Floyd, on the first day, closed in 66 hits against Trevino's 65. He shot 66 more on the second day and Trevino finished in 64. The next day, with an eagle on the last hole, he managed to beat Trevino by one stroke.
As he walked away, Floyd looking out the window of his car said: “we'll see you later; on the Tour it's easier than that .. ”. Returning to the Tour, he told the players: “Guys, there is a young Mexican boy from El Paso. When he gets here, you'll have to give him some space. "