Saturday, 03 November 2012
Zack Rasego and Branden Grace  (Getty Images)
Zack Rasego and Branden Grace (Getty Images)

Zack Rasego was crowned HSBC Caddie of the Year at the annual party laid on for the bagmen during the WGC-HSBC Champions.

Branden Grace, Rasego's employer, could not have been more proud as his man was awarded the coveted trophy. After holding the silver-wear aloft, Rasego thanked the sponsors and spoke of how honoured he felt that his peers would have voted for him.

All told, he and Grace won four European Tour titles and one Sunshine Tour event times this year,  with the last of those victories the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

That week, they had a 60 over Kingsbarns which both felt could have been a 59. But it was on the last day that Rasego really came into his own when his master was beginning to struggle on the greens.

"I told Zack, 'Just jump in with reading the lines as I need a little clarification,'" said Grace. After that, they made birdies at the 12th, 13th and 14th to draw comfortably clear of the field.

Before linking up with Grace, Rasego caddied for Louis Oosthuizen for seven years in a partnership which saw the pair win the 2010 Open Championship at St Andrews.

Gary Player was the first to see Rasego's potential as a caddie. Years ago, when he was designing the Gary Player course at Sun City, Player introduced a programme for the caddies at the club and gave Rasego his own Caddie of the Year award. Part of the prize was to carry Player's bag during a stint on The European Tour. "Zack was a quick learner and someone who had a great eye for the job,” said Player.

Rasego made the most of that early foray on The European Tour and was soon up there with the best of the bagmen.

Scott Vale, Brandt Snedeker's caddie, was the runner-up in the HSBC Caddie of the Year Awards. The latter is known as the "Million-dollar caddie" after he was given 10% of the $10 million Snedeker made by winning this year's FedExCup.

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