There are usually some perks to being on the winning bag at a PGA Tour event – a little something extra for the effort, as Carl Spackler once elegantly put it – but a car?
That’s what happened at last year’s Charles Schwab Challenge, where the tournament winner was awarded a glacier-blue 1973 Dodge Challenger that had been fully restored by Steve Strope, who is renowned for his custom work on American muscle cars from the 1960s and ’70s.
Kevin Na pocketed the $1.314 million paycheck and donned the tartan winner’s coat, but the keys to the car went to longtime caddie Kenny Harms. It has to go down as one of the coolest gestures to celebrate a victory.
“I don’t know of a better one,” said Harms, who has caddied for the likes of Hall of Famers Hale Irwin, Raymond Floyd and Hubert Green since 1991 and worked for Na for more than a decade.
Harms’ wheels have been making the rounds at some car shows, including SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) in Las Vegas, and so Harms says he’s only put about 400 miles on his prized possession.
The car buff already owns a 1998 black Porsche 911 Carrera convertible and a 2006 Porsche Cayenne, but he had his eye on the Dodge Challenger as soon as he spotted it on Tuesday of tournament week sitting along the 10th hole at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
“It was kind of silent before everyone teed off and I said, ‘Hey, Kevin, when we win, I’ll look a lot better than you in that car with my baby blue eyes. When we win it, you’re going to give me the car, right?’ ” Harms recalls. “He kind of looks over at the car, looks at me, looks back at the car a second time and says, ‘Yeah, if we win.’ I said, ‘No, when we win.’ He said, ‘All right, I’ll give you the car if I win.’ For some reason, I kept saying, when we win. I had the weirdest feeling we were going to win that week.”
Colonial has been Na’s personal ATM for several years, but victory had eluded him until now. He cruised to a four-stroke victory and flipped the keys to Harms.
“It doesn’t drive like a typical ’73 Dodge Challenger,” said Harms, who once ponied up $200 to buy a ’73 rusty green Camaro, his first car. “The only thing that is original is the shell of the car. Everything else has been replaced. I’m told it was bought for $20,700, stripped it down to the metal and they put $180,000 in parts and $200,000 in labor into it. It’s a piece of art to me.”