Caddie gets a piece of the pie

2010-07-25 10:35

Zack Rasego ­definitely knew there was something special about

Louis Oosthuizen when he first picked up his golf bag ­seven years ago.

But never had he dreamt that he was walking alongside a ­future

British Open champion.

Yet there does seem to be a definite sense of golfing destiny when

it comes to the ­partnership between ­Oosthuizen and his caddie.

The first time Rasego caddied for Oosthuizen was in the 2004

International Final Qualifier for the Open Championship played at Atlantic Beach

in Cape Town – one they successfully qualified for.

Rasego, who was born in the Magaliesberg region in Mogale City and

now lives in ­Rustenburg, says: “When you start like that, it’s got to be

good.”

Raised by a mother who was a domestic worker and a father who was

seldom at home ­because of his work, Rasego was recruited as one of the first

caddies for the Gary Player Country Club when it opened at Sun City in the late

1970s.

He cut his teeth caddying for one of the legends of golf.

“I caddied for Gary Player in the 1986 Million Dollar and the 1988

Senior British Open, which was the first time I ever went overseas. It was

amazing.

As a caddie, you want to work for the world’s best,” he says.

Rasego went on to establish himself on the local Sunshine Tour as a

caddie for Wayne Player, Chris Davison and ­Marco Gortana before a former agent

of Oosthuizen’s ­approached him to work for the rising star of South African

golf.

Rasego says: “The secret to our relationship is that we have

respect for each other.”

His life has changed ­dramatically since that ­memorable Sunday on

the Old Course at St Andrews.

“I have worked for Louis for seven years and nobody wanted to know

anything about me. Now all of a sudden my phone hasn’t stopped ringing and

­people want to know everything about me.

It’s as if I have won the Claret

Jug.

“To be honest, I’m happy to be where I was before – in the

background.

But every caddie dreams of this and I feel very proud.

“Winning with Louis was an unbelievable experience. My caddie

friends have been so supportive.”

There is the story that Rasego was about to be sacked ­before the

Open.

But ­Oosthuizen speaks of him so highly that you have to believe they have

forged an even stronger relationship.

­Oosthuizen says: “Zack knew that you play the Old Course by feel

and not by the yardage book. He gave me room when I needed it.

He knew when to

get involved and when to stand back. He did brilliantly.”

With Oosthuizen having earned around R10-million for his victory,

Rasego also has a few decisions to make if one considers the basic 10% fee a

caddie usually receives from such prize money.

But he is giving nothing away.

“What money?” he says with a laugh, “Besides, I already bought

myself a new car last year.”

As he said, now everybody wants to know everything about him.


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