Mark Herrmann of the NY Post has a great write up about ‘The Keith’, an annual caddie tournament. Here’s an excerpt…
The event this coming Monday at Cherry Valley Club in Garden City is a fixture on its way to becoming a tradition. For the fifth year in a row, the Keith R. Cerrato Memorial Tournament again will be the local caddies’ major championship. One-hundred ten are entered so far for a day that will bring someone a trophy, will help two students get scholarships and will remind everyone around here that caddies represent the soul of the game.
“My favorite part is that they get so excited about this event. There is nothing else like it for them,” said Mary Lou Cerrato, mother of Keith, a Cherry Valley caddie and Hofstra student who was hit by a car and killed while crossing a street seven years ago. “They keep coming up to [my husband] John and me, thanking us.”
Mark Zaino, the club manager at Cherry Valley, a private club, said, “They are playing in a big tournament and they are treated like members for a day, and they should be . . . I know my job would be a lot more difficult if I didn’t have them.”
That feeling is shared by clubs all over the Metropolitan section, more than a dozen of which hold caddie qualifying events to determine who get to play in “The Keith.” The tournament was established in 2009 to honor Cerrato, who started working at the course when he was a skinny junior high kid struggling to prove he could carry two bags at a time. He still was a caddie at 24, when he died.
Each of the participants in The Keith is sponsored, and the money provides scholarships for disadvantaged youths to attend Chaminade High (Keith’s alma mater) and Hofstra. Mary Lou said she and her husband John proudly (and emotionally) this year attended the first recipient’s college graduation.