Rasego set to hang up bag

He’s been a cad­die for 36 of his 51 years and tasted suc­cess at the high­est level, but it may soon be time to call it a day

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

In­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed cad­die Zack Rasego be­lieves he has played a mean­ing­ful role in help­ing play­ers at the high­est level – and is now on the verge of re­tir­ing. The 51-year-old Soweto-born cad­die, who now lives in Ledig, a North West town­ship out­side Rusten­burg, a stone’s throw from Sun City, has trav­elled the length and breath of the globe to guide the for­tunes of sev­eral pro­fes­sional play­ers dur­ing key events.

He be­lieves he has served his dues on dif­fer­ent top cour­ses here and abroad, and is now on the brink of call­ing it quits.

“My cad­dy­ing days are num­bered and I’d like to re­tire soon. I can­not say ex­actly when, but hav­ing car­ried a golf bag since 1979, it’s been a long time,” said Rasego.

The mild-man­nered man is renowned for do­ing his job with aplomb.

But he says that shoul­der­ing a heavy bag for 36 glo­ri­ous years is be­gin­ning to take a toll on his body. Among the high­pro­file play­ers he has worked with are Gary Player and Louis Oosthuizen.

Be­ing a cad­die is not easy, as it en­tails in­tense con­cen­tra­tion and goes with good knowl­edge of the course and club se­lec­tion (see graphic).

Rasego is cur­rently in charge of shoul­der­ing the big bag of Bran­den Grace – one of the coun­try’s top-ranked play­ers, who cam­paigns on both the Sun­shine and Euro­pean tours.

Rasego was in charge of the Pre­to­ri­abased player dur­ing the Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge at Sun City last week.

The af­fa­ble cad­die has won sev­eral ac­co­lades dur­ing his ca­reer. This in­cludes be­ing crowned the 2012 HSBC Cad­die of the Year by the Euro­pean Tour.

He is a mem­ber of the SA Cad­dies’ As­so­ci­a­tion, Euro­pean Tour Cad­dies’ As­so­ci­a­tion and the As­so­ci­a­tion of Pro­fes­sional Tour Cad­dies. The lat­ter is based in the US. Th­ese as­so­ci­a­tions look af­ter the in­ter­ests of cad­dies and pro­vide guide­lines, among other things, on how they should con­duct them­selves while on tour.

Rasego re­fused to say how much money he had earned as a cad­die.

He merely em­pha­sised that “guid­ing the for­tunes of play­ers dur­ing an event on tour is a big chal­lenge. You of­ten clash and dif­fer with play­ers, es­pe­cially on the type of club to use.”

Rasego said he wished to leave a legacy as a cad­die when he fi­nally bowed out of the scene. But he would not elab­o­rate on what kind of legacy.

“I have en­joyed see­ing the world dur­ing my trav­els. I have in­ter­acted with sev­eral top-class cad­dies and have shared ideas with them,” he said.

He said the high­light of his time on the fair­ways was when he helped Oosthuizen to win the Bri­tish Open at St An­drews, Scot­land, in 2010. Oosthuizen beat English­man Lee West­wood by seven shots to lift the Claret Jug.

“That was one of the big­gest mo­ments of my ca­reer as an in­ter­na­tional cad­die. I will cher­ish it for the rest of my life.”

PHOTO: JAN KRUGER / GETTY IM­AGES

FO­CUSED Zack Rasego with Bran­den Grace last week You need sound knowl­edge of the rules of the game, and of golf clubs

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