For the sake of peace in the McNealy household, let's all hope that eldest son Maverick, an amateur golfer playing in this week's U.S. Open, is nice to his caddie and is not a chirp (cheap with his tip) or, worse, a duck (a golfer who bolts after finishing a round to avoid tipping his caddie at all).
In a backward sort of Cinderella story worthy of the 1980 cult classic "Caddyshack," Scott McNealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and one of Silicon Valley's richest men, will be lugging his son's clubs when the tournament opens Thursday at the blue-blooded bastion of double bogeys known as the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club.
"I think I'll be the only daddy-caddie out there and Mav will be the only programmer," Scott said by telephone from North Carolina on Wednesday afternoon, proud of his 18-year-old son's performance on the links as well as at Stanford, where he's a sophomore studying management science and engineering, with a minor in computer science. "He's got so much going for him right now that there are no other expectations at the tournament than for him to stay focused and have a good time."
Scott, who co-founded Sun in 1982, will already be acquainted with the weight of Maverick's bag, having caddied for his son last week when he finished third at the U.S. Open sectional qualifying round in Daly City. Maverick's performance on that course greased the skids for his trip with dad to Pinehurst for the 114th U.S. Open, where amateurs and pros all compete together for the ultimate prize.
Maverick learned to play the game at an early age by using a lawn sprinkler called Crazy Daisy as his target. He said his dad "taught me everything."
On the phone, Scott and his son seemed to complete each other's sentences:
Maverick: "I loved to go out back with my dad and a Wiffle ball and hit Crazy Daisy."
Scott: "He'd have a five iron and rip that ball 50 feet and hit that thing over and over again."
Maverick: "Crazy Daisy's not in one piece anymore."
Scott: "There's nothing unusual about little boys grabbing sticks and hitting round objects."
Like father like son, Scott was a college golfer at Harvard, where he earned his undergraduate degree before launching Sun Microsystems.
But old man McNealy says his best job of all is being father to Maverick and his three younger brothers, Dakota, Colt and Scout. At Stanford, Maverick has just wrapped up a strong year on the school's golf team, making the Pac-12 All-Freshman team while helping the Cardinal to the semifinals at the NCAA Championship in late May.
Maverick tees off Thursday morning. His dad will be at his side, right where he's been the past 18 years.
Contact Patrick May at 408-920-5689 or follow him at Twitter.com/patmaymerc.
Scott McNealy: 59; born in Columbus, Indiana; bachelor of arts in economics from Harvard, MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business; co-founded computer technology company Sun Microsystems in 1982; currently chairman of Denver-based Wayin; married with four sons: Maverick, Dakota, Colt, and Scout; enthusiastic ice hockey player and top-ranked golfer among business executives; self-described libertarian.
Maverick McNealy: 18; grew up in Portola Valley; Stanford University sophomore; avid golfer just finished an impressive freshman year at Stanford, making the Pac-12 All-Freshman golf team and helping the Cardinal to the semifinals at the NCAA Championship in late May.
Source: Mercury News reporting