There have been a bunch of brother acts on the PGA Tour. Jay and Lionel Hebert, Dave and Mike Hill, and Bobby and Lanny Wadkins are but a few. The best one going these days, though, is Pigpen and Linus. That's what the caddies call David and Kevin Sutherland, two regular guys from Sacramento who have slowly but surely established themselves as successful Tour players.
Kevin, 34, is the older, responsible one. He always carries a towel around the course—to combat sweaty hands—like a security blanket, hence the Linus tag. "But it's not the same towel every week," he says. "I take a clean one."
David, 33, wears rumpled shirts half in, half out. He's the Oscar Madison to Kevin's Felix Unger. "David is a slob in every aspect of his life," says Kevin.
As brothers go, they are an odd couple. "I'm very much like my dad," says Kevin. "He's a typical engineer, very organized, everything has to be in its place. David is the opposite. He drives my dad crazy. In college David's clothes were all over the floor. He would gather them up, do his laundry, then throw them back on the floor. He had no carpet, just clothes."
Are you guys sure you're brothers? "I was pretty young when we met," David says, "but I've known him my whole life."
Cut to older brother rolling his eyes. "We are similar in that we both love sports and we both.... That might be about it," Kevin says. "David is my best friend, with the exception of my wife. We talk all the time. One reason we get along is that we are different. If we were more similar, we might have become rivals, like some other brothers."
The Sutherlands have always played golf together. They started at a par-3 course called Foothills, near their parents' house, took lessons from Don Baucom, the pro at the Vineyard, a driving range in Sacramento, and walked on at Fresno State when no colleges recruited them. Amazingly, the Sutherlands have been paired only once in a Tour event, in the recent Compaq Classic in New Orleans. (David came in 28th, Kevin missed the cut.) They have gone head-to-head in a match on one occasion, a memorably awkward first-round encounter in the '86 California State Amateur at Pebble Beach. "It was the most awful day," David says. "Neither of us wanted to win."
The match appeared to be over on the 17th hole. Kevin was one up and had a 20-footer for birdie, while David was stuck in the front bunker. Then David holed his next shot. "I remember getting out of the bunker and saying, 'Sorry, Kevin,' " David says. "He said, 'Don't worry about it.' " Kevin missed his putt, and the match went to 18 all square. It says something about the brothers' relationship that neither remembers much about that last hole, only that David made bogey and Kevin won.
David's life story is more likely to be made into a movie than Kevin's. "It would be Something About Mary meets Dumb and Dumber," David says. What would a movie about Kevin be like? Think PBS, says Kevin.
David's movie would have an action sequence from the final day of the 1989 Western Amateur in Benton Harbor, Mich. "That was the dumbest thing ever," he says. Here's the short version: David left his clubs in the trunk of someone else's car, and that person left. During a frantic 110-mph chase in a friend's Cadillac to retrieve the clubs, David was pulled over and ticketed for speeding. After racing back to the course, David dashed to the 1st tee just as his name was announced. He won the first three holes and the match, then beat Tony Mollica in the final that afternoon. "If that had happened to me, I'd have been frazzled," says Kevin. "For David, that's just a normal day's work. He's always in a hurry."