Oates, who retired from the NHL as a player in 2004 after 19 seasons, has occasionally served as Quigley’s caddie this golf season. So far, Quigley has made the 36-hole cut in two of the four events he has partnered with the five-time All-Star.
Oates, 47, spent today carrying Quigley’s bag and helping him read putts during a practice round for the AT&T National at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.
“I’m here to work, seriously,” Oates said in an interview while walking along the course today. “It’s his job. I’m not out here to entertain myself. I really enjoy it and if there’s anything I can help him with, I’ll try to help him.”
Oates and Quigley were brought together this year by Jim Curran, a PGA Tour representative for Fortune Brands Inc.’s Titleist brand, Quigley’s main sponsor. Both Quigley and Oates describe themselves as “high-energy East Coast guys,” a personality trait Curran said he thought would mesh well on the golf course.
“He said we would hit it off and we have,” Oates said of Quigley, who is winless with five runner-up finishes in his 10- year PGA Tour career.
Quigley, 40, said Oates doesn’t seek any special treatment on the course or want access to the player’s locker room. He can usually be found hanging out with other caddies in the club’s bag area and simply introduces himself as “Adam” without mentioning his background. Other caddies eventually recognize him.
“It’s funny to see him down in the caddie area,” Quigley said. “All of the other caddies look at him and say, ‘Holy mackerel, that’s Adam Oates. What are you doing here?’ It’s pretty cool.”
Oates declined to discuss whether Quigley pays him for the job. A tour caddie typically makes between 5 percent and 8 percent of his player’s earnings each week, or 10 percent for a victory. Some caddies have a standard weekly salary instead of a percentage.
“I’m not out here for the money,” he said. “We’re buddies. I love it out here. Being in the hunt and being around the best in the world at their sport, it’s great. All jocks want to play this game. I’m no different.”
The only thing Oates doesn’t really enjoy is lugging Quigley’s packed golf bag up and down the hills of PGA Tour courses. The bags can weigh around 50 pounds.
“It’s heavy,” he said. “There are some long days. I give these guys a lot of credit.”
Oates said he intends to work for Quigley one or two more times this summer before joining the Devils and John MacLean, the team’s new coach. The team opens training camp in September.
“I told him we started that obviously I have a different job,” Oates said. “But when our paths cross, they’ll cross.”