Zack Rasego, a Soweto-born caddie credits the Joburg Open as the platform which provided him with global recognition.
When Branden Grace won the coveted 2012 Joburg Open tournament, his partnership with Rasego became the most recognised one in golfing circles. After the tournament, Grace went on to win four European Tour titles with Rasego at his side.
The pair's hard work and perseverance throughout the year proved fruitful when Rasego was named the 2012 HSBC Caddie of the Year at the annual awards held during the World Golf Championships in China. Rasego goes down in the annals of history as the first South African caddy to receive this award.
"I honestly didn't except to win the award and was at a complete loss for words when they made the announcement. I'm grateful for the years spent working at club level, later on with amateurs and now with pro golfers, as it assisted me to harness a skill that most caddies aspire to achieve," said Rasego.
It was South Africa's Grand Slam champion Gary Player who first recognised Rasego's potential at the Gary Player Course in Sun City during 1979 when he was just 16 years old. Player had introduced a caddie's programme at the club of which Rasego was a part, and this is where the young caddie's love for the gentlemen's game, now spanning 34 years first developed.
In the early days of his career as a caddie, Rasego made the most of that early foray on the European Tour as Player's caddy and was soon up there with the best of the bagmen. According to (quote source) Gary Player said: "Zack was a quick learner and someone who had a great eye for the job."
Before partnering with Grace, Rasego caddied for another South African, Louis Oosthuizen, in a seven year partnership that included accolades such as the British Open in 2010.
Talking to the City of Joburg ahead of the 2013 Joburg Open, the placid Rasego shared what keeps him going to this day: "The journey has been challenging but very rewarding which is why I still look forward to each day on the golf course."
"My Caddie of the Year award has encouraged fellow caddies to take it upon themselves to improve their skill and service to players. Tournaments like the Joburg Open are important for young black golfers and caddies alike as it gives them an opportunity to compete at a professional level. Without the Joburg Open the people wouldn't have recognized my skills."
Rasego will again caddy for defending Joburg Open Champion Branden Grace at the 2013 tournament taking place at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club from 7 and 10 February 2013. South African spectators will once again have the opportunity to see this perfect pairing in action.
"I am happy to be back in the country and I look forward to working with Branden as he participates in the 2013 tournament," concluded Rasego.
Joburg Open is an important
tournament in the golf
calendar for both local and
It is co-sanctioned by the
Sunshine Tour and PGA
European Tour as an official
Order of Merit event.
The prize money is 1.3
million euros and this will be
shared amongst all the
players who will make the cut.
Thursday & Friday
Morning field: 10:30-12:30
Afternoon field:14:00– 16:00
Saturday & Sunday
12:00 – 16:30