Caddies sought for PGA

Lydia Ko and her caddie Guy Wilson at last year's NZPGA at The Hills. Photo supplied.
Lydia Ko and her caddie Guy Wilson at last year's NZPGA at The Hills. Photo supplied.
The NZPGA tournament tees off in Queenstown at the end of next month and organisers are calling for help from the area's caddies. More than 120 caddies are needed for the four-day PGA Tour of Australasia tournament, which runs from February 28 to March 3.

About 80 caddies are needed for the professional golfers and 40 for the amateurs and celebrities.

Up to 50 caddies are already signed up for the event, many of them returning from the previous year.

Since the tournament increased its status to a tier 1 event and its prize money to $600,000, each golfer would be in need of caddie this year.

Caddy master and golf professional Andrew Whiley said they were looking for people who ideally had some golfing knowledge and a good fitness level.

''Caddying is as close as you can get to the heat of the competition, being part of the event and inside the ropes at a professional sports event of this calibre.''

Last year's event had attracted caddies aged 16 to 60 from a range of backgrounds. Arrowtown golfer Nick Lynch was lucky enough in 2012 to caddy for the tournament's biggest celebrity name, Don Cheadle.

The length of the job depends on whether someone is caddying for a professional or an amateur.

Professional caddies will need to be at The Hills from February 26 for practice rounds. Caddies will receive payment depending on how well their players perform.

Organisers have announced an impressive line-up of US Open winner Hale Irwin, 103-ranked Japan's Toshinori Muto, top Australian golfer Brendan Jones, and defending champion Michael Hendry, of North Harbour.

A sport-themed celebrity base includes former English cricket captain Sir Ian Botham, NZ teen golf sensation Lydia Ko, Olympic rowing champion Mahe Drysdale, golfing legend Sir Bob Charles, television presenter and former Black cap Mark Richardson, All Black and wallaby greats Justin Marshall, Nick Farr-Jones and George Gregan.

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