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NZPGA - two weeks to go
Striking while irons hot
By GRANT BRYANT
FROM THE FRONT
Chance meeting: Golfing whizz Lydia Ko meeting bungy whizz Regan
Pearce last year. This year Pearce will caddy for her at the NZPGA at her
A chance comment while golf
star Lydia Ko took a post PGA
Pro Am Championship bungy
jump after last year's
tournament has led to Bungy
NZ sales manager and
Wakatipu premiers rugby
captain Regan Pearce
caddying for the world's
number one women's
Ko has had a phenomenal rise
in the golfing world since last
March but has kept her feet
firmly on the ground, Pearce
''It's a sign that she's kept
really grounded, because
when we were prepping Lydia
for her jump last year, I told
her I was golf nut, and to hit
me up if she ever needed a
caddy when she was in the
area,'' he said.
''So I got a random e-mail last
month asking if I would be
available to caddy for Lydia at
the PGA Champs. I thought it
could have been a wind-up
from some some of the guys,
so just carefully replied that
I could, still half-thinking it
was a joke but it turns out
Lydia's mum, who was with
her when she jumped, sent
the message at Lydia's
Since confirming the e-mail's
authenticity, Pearce, who has
been trying to get down to a
single figure handicap as a
golfer, has taken a ''crash-
course in caddying.''
''There's been plenty of
Googling and YouTubing on
caddying, but the big thing
that seems to come up is
shutting up and doing what
you're told, which I think I
can pull off.''
On Ko's arrival in
Queenstown, she will link up
with Pearce to have a game on
host course, Sir Michael Hill's
The Hills in Arrowtown.
Playing in the Pro Am format,
Ko will be grouped with New
Zealand Prime Minister John
Key. Included in the
ammeters, who will be paired
with professional golfers, are
George Gregan and Sir Ian
As a ''total sports nut'' Pearce
is delighted at the prospect of
rubbing shoulders with them.
The Mirror has a double season pass covering
all four days of the NZ PGA and NZ PGA
Championship to give away each week
leading up to the event. To win this week's
pass please email us before Friday on
email@example.com, with "PGA" in the subject
line. Make sure to include your contact
The NZ PGA
What: Up to 132 professionals will tee at this
years NZ PGA with the top 68 making the cut
on the Friday to play through the weekend. A
field of 68 amateurs will play a seeding
tournament on the Friday and be paired with
a professional to play for the NZ PGA pro-am
title on the weekend.
Where: Sir Michael Hill's home golf course,
The Hills, near Arrowtown
When: February 28 till March 3
How much: Season passes (all four days) are
$55, $20 a day for Thursday and Friday, $30 a
day for Saturday and Sunday.
New Zealand PGA caddy tips from caddy master Andrew Whiley:
Caddies needed: 135
Number returning from last year: More than 50 per cent.
Whiley's mantra: ''Keep up and shut up.''
The best part: The only place in the world where someone off the street can come and enjoy the experience
in the heat of play.
Fitness is essential: To carry clubs weighing up to 20kg and to walk the terrain. ''They don't call it 'The Hills'
Potential pitfalls: One young caddy last year working with Sir Bob Charles almost fell into a bunker in front
of a crowd after failing to recognise how steep it was.
Who needs a caddy: Celebrity amateurs Ian Botham, Justin Marshall and Mark Richardson will be bringing
their own caddies though George Gregan could be on offer.
Payment: Yes! By arrangement between the player and caddy.
Want to be a caddy: Andrew is still looking for caddies to go on the reserve list for the pros or a get a
guaranteed spot with the amateurs. If you are interested email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fitness needed to cope with fairways
On the job: Andrew Whiley.
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