PGA Tour caddies look back on last year's false missile alert in Hawaii
By Dan McDonald
It was a year ago this week that a beautiful Hawaiian Saturday morning went from peaceful and quiet to people left confused and panicked.
For about 10 minutes, those on the island were under the impression that a ballistic missile was inbound and they needed to seek shelter.
Of course, we came to find out that it was an unfortunate mistake by the Hawaii Emergency Agency.
As the anniversary of this harrowing experience arrives this week at the Sony Open, The Caddie Network's T.J. Auclair caught up with 10 caddies who were in Honolulu that weekend to see how they remembered the alert a year later.
The stories range from funny and brave in the face of danger to terrifying and unthinkable fear.
Joe Etter, caddie for eventual Sony Open champion Patton Kizzire, was lucky to have not been near his phone and was able to have a laugh over it.
"I walked over to my phone around 8:30 a.m. and saw both the incoming missile message and the false alarm message basically simultaneously. I remember thinking to myself, 'Man that’s a big mess up, I bet people have been freaking out!'"
Terry Walker, caddie for Andrew Landry, and his wife starred danger in the face and decided to continue their breakfast.
"Several people panicked and raced out of the restaurant. My wife and I looked at each other and then she said: 'If we’re going to die, then it won’t be on an empty stomach.'
"And we continued to eat."
For Ryan Palmer's caddie James Edmondson, the story was less laughable as him and his wife sought shelter in an underground bunker and feared they might not return home to Texas to see their daughters.
"I immediately jump up from the table and go to the front desk to use their landline. I call 911 and get a busy signal. I then go into fight or flight mentality. I start to remember some underground areas and grab my wife’s hand and head down the escalator to street level. She’s Face-Timing our two daughters back in Texas, while trying to hold back the tears telling them how much we love them."