Striking while irons hot
A chance comment while golf star Lydia Ko took a post PGA ProAmChampionship 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 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 ‘‘crashcourse 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 ProAmformat, 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.
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 request. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, with "PGA" in the subject line. Make sure to include your contact details. 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.