Steven Alker’s caddie Sam Workman suddenly passes away from cancer
Less than a week after Steven Alker disclosed that his caddie, Sam Workman, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Alker announced Tuesday that Workman passed away earlier this week. Workman was 55.
“Words cannot describe the sudden passing of Sam Workman from his fight with cancer on February 6, 2023,” Alker, the reigning Charles Schwab Cup champion, wrote in an Instagram post. “You will be missed by so many. It has been a privilege walking the fairways with you ‘my man.'”
Workman, 55, picked up golf when he was 6 years old, he told The Caddie Network in 2022. He played junior college golf for a year and then became a teaching pro while dabbling in sectional tournaments. He eventually ran a municipal course in his native Texas.
One day, Brad Elder asked Workman to loop for him in a qualifier, and he has since caddied in nearly 400 tournaments, and for the last 15 years on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Workman had never been on the bag for a win — until Alker.
Alker and Workman met through a mutual friend, Australian caddie Tony Lingard. The two linked for the 2019 Korn Ferry Tour season and made their debut together at the season-opening Bahamas Great Exuma Classic. Alker placed T-4 — his best finish in a Tour-sanctioned event since 2014.
In August 2021, shortly after turning 50 years old, Alker Monday qualified for the senior tour’s Boeing Classic and finished T-7. With the top 10, the New Zealander got into the following event and then recorded six straight top-10s before notching his maiden victory at the TimberTech Championship.
Workman was overcome with emotion afterward as he thought of his late father, who passed away four years prior.
“When I told my dad I was going out on the road full time to caddie he gave me 100% acceptance,” Workman told PGATour.com that week. “Unfortunately, he passed away about four years ago, so he didn’t get to see this. But before he did, I told him I’d eventually get a flag at some point, and we got it done last week.”
In 2022, Alker and Workman would notch four more PGA Tour Champions victories en route to capturing the season-long Schwab Cup title. Alker was also named the PGA Tour Champions’ Player of the Year.
In January, Workman caddied for Alker at the senior tour’s season-opener in Hawaii. They finished T-2. Alker is not playing this week’s Champions tour event, the Trophy Hassan II in Morroco. Players in Morroco, however, will wear ribbons during the opening round in Workman’s memory. Donations in Workman’s name can be made to the First Tee of Greater San Antonio.
In a written tribute by caddie John Rathouz that was published by Golfweek, Rathouz said Workman hadn’t been feeling well since the holiday season and when he returned home from Hawaii, Workman was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
On Monday, Workman passed away at his home in Bellville, Texas. Workman’s sister, Michele, told Rathouz that “Mom and I were holding his hand to the end.”