Strike while the iron's hotGRANT BRYANT
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 No 1 women's amateur.
Ko has had a phenomenal rise in the golfing world since last March but has kept her feet firmly on the ground, Pearce said.
"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 request."
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 Botham.
As a "total sports nut" Pearce is delighted at the prospect of rubbing shoulders with them.
- The Mirror