She was preparing for her second Sunshine Ladies Tour start at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington in nine days, but when Carrie Park (picture: Ernest Blignault) received an SOS from JC Ritchie on Saturday morning, the reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur champion rushed to Glendower Golf Club.
Decked out in a caddie bib, she was ready to bag-duty for Ritchie in the third round of the BMW SA Open proudly hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni within an hour of his call.
“JC’s regular caddie Meschack called him in a panic this morning,” Park explained.
“The storm on Friday caused severe damage to Meschack’s house and he has to sort things out, so that left JC scrambling for someone to take the bag.
“We are great mates and I didn’t think twice about coming to help out. We both attended South Downs College in Centurion. We played for the team together and we have both been at the GFG Academy for a long time, so we have a long history.
“I started competing in South African men’s professional tournaments last year to prepare for my Sunshine Ladies Tour debut and JC immediately took me under his wing. He has always been so generous with his advice and guidance that when he called, I just told him not to worry… I’m on my way.”
The petite South Korean, who held the number one spot in the South African women’s amateur rankings in 2014, impressed with a third place finish in her pro debut the South African Women’s Open in early December.
“I’m really excited to start in the Ladies Joburg Open,” Park said. “I think caddying for JC in the SA Open can only help me.
“It will be interesting to look at play from a caddie’s perspective and to watch the pros and see how they execute shots around this very tough layout.”
Ritchie opened with a 72, but had to complete his second round this morning after play was called off due to lightning storms over the Ekurhuleni area.
“JC shot another round of 72, so we are going all out to break par this afternoon,” said Park.