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1974 German Open


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#1 bruce

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 08:57 AM

Following the response I received from my last post regarding my caddying for Sir Bob Charles at the 1974 Swiss Open (Omega European Masters), which I had originally prepared for the website for that event, and encouragement by some to post other caddying stories, I thought I would take the opportunity to share another similar post. In fact, indirectly, there is a connection between both.
 
The week following the Swiss Open that year, I was looking around for someone to caddy for the next week in Germany as Bob Charles was heading off elsewhere and my regular bag that season, Bob Shearer, was heading back to London to spend time with his now lovely wife Kathy.

 

I had considered taking the following week off but thought if I could find a bag that would cover some of my expenses at least that week and perhaps a little more it would be a better option.
 
New Zealander, Simon Owen, was around the clubhouse that evening in Switzerland after Charles had won and I asked Simon if he had anyone working for him the next week in Krefeld at the German Open.

 

I had caddied for Simon once earlier that season in Europe at the Coca Cola Under 25 Championship in Bristol (a non-European Tour event) where he had finished 7th behind the winner Dale Hayes. We had gotten on pretty well that week and I felt he might be a good option given that I had no bag for Krefeld.

 

Simon said he did not have a caddy the following week but was unsure if he could afford a regular tour caddy and would think it over. Simon had made nearly every cut in events he had played in Europe that rookie European Tour season of his but was not finishing high enough to accumulate a lot of money in an era where midfield finishes did not do a lot for bank accounts.

 

In fact, in eight European Tour starts prior to Germany, Simon had missed only one cut but had accumulated only £1400 or so and was even considering the possibility of heading home to New Zealand. 

 

Twenty minutes later he came back and we agreed on a fee which was enough to cover a few expenses in Germany and so we teamed up for what was, at that point, a one off.

 

Simon took the lead early in the event and after leading by one over Dale Hayes heading into the final round went on to win the first hole of a playoff against the European Tour’s dominant player at the time, Peter Oosterhuis, who had reeled off a brilliant 66 on a demanding golf course in the final round to catch Simon.

 

It had been, therefore, two wins in consecutive weeks for two different New Zealanders with me swinging off the bag. 
 
Simon won even less (£2500) than Bob Charles had done the previous week but the win changed directions for him and provided me with yet another great thrill in caddying for a fellow New Zealander in what were rather unusual circumstances.
 
Another interesting aspect of that week (although we did not quite appreciate it at the time) was that in his opening two rounds Simon played with a then 16 year old, Bernhard Langer, who missed the cut after rounds of 87 and 77 but would of course go on to have one of the greatest careers amongst European golfers. 
 
The photo below shows Simon Owen driving at the first extra hole of the playoff with me leaning on the bag and Oosterhuis and his caddy Paul Stevens watching on. The photo is a little blurred but hey it is 42 years old !! ;)
 
Attached File  1974-German-Open-Krefeld-playoff.jpg   20.41KB   2 downloads

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#2 Schmuck

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 09:06 AM

Love the story & the pgf logo bag...thats not you tending it, Bruce?

Thanks for sharing
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#3 bruce

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 09:09 AM

Thanks Schmuck - yes that is me with my patented lean on the bag look


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#4 Weetbix

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 10:11 AM

Quite the mop you had going back then Bruce

Quite a run there to get two NZ'ers home on consecutive weeks

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#5 voss

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 11:25 AM

Good read Bruce.

 

Oosty was also a great performer in Australia over this time and, as we all know, became a very well respected commentator. Thanks !



#6 BarnEsy05

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 11:33 AM

Top read Bruce.

 

I had the pleasure of playing in a pro am with Bob Shearer at Concord back in 2008, and attending, along with my wife, the dinner at Star City with him, Randall Vines and Peter McWhinney....great blokes.


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#7 Can Break 80

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 02:15 PM

Bruce

do you think the pros of old hit it better with the persimmon heads than todays modern pros with space age equipment ?


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Posted 05 September 2016 - 02:24 PM

Bob Shearer was one of the best strikers of all time.

Not many people could hit a long iron like he did.

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 02:43 PM

Top read Bruce.
 
I had the pleasure of playing in a pro am with Bob Shearer at Concord back in 2008, and attending, along with my wife, the dinner at Star City with him, Randall Vines and Peter McWhinney....great blokes.


That would have been an awesome day!
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#10 BarnEsy05

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 03:07 PM

That would have been an awesome day!

It sure was.


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HELP IS OUT THERE

 
 
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2013 ISG NSW WBT COC Runner Up

2015 ISG NSW WBT COC

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2013 ISG National Championships...13th place...now that's desperately unlucky

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2014 ISG National Championships...13th place...no other golfer could be that desperately unlucky 2 years in a row!

2015 ISG National Championships...21st place...that's farked

2016 ISG National Championships...waaaaay down the list.

2016 ISG National Championships...2nd place Yarra Yarra Satellite Game 

2016 ISG National Championships...2nd place Huntingdale Satellite Game

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#11 bruce

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 04:01 PM

Bruce

do you think the pros of old hit it better with the persimmon heads than todays modern pros with space age equipment ?

well CB80 I think the introduction of bigger headed drivers and metal ones at that which are considerably more forgiving than was the case back then means that a far wider range of players are capable of competing and contending at higher levels.

 

Now whether that is good for the game is very much up for debate. I think the better players / ball strikers shone back then and there were far less that could win a tournament. These days anybody good enough to have made it to the PGA Tour is capable of winning on that tour whereas typically in the persimmon era there were perhaps only 30 players considered genuine chances of winning on any given week and even less in the majors.

 

So to answer your question and without wishing to live in the past I would say the better ball strikers back then came to the fore. Now, the gap between the good ball striker and the ordinary one has lessened considerably.  


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#12 bruce

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 04:37 PM

Barnesy / Maxx I have a great story about Bob Shearer which occurred about the same time as the others. Will tell in a few days


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Posted 05 September 2016 - 04:50 PM

Barnesy / Maxx I have a great story about Bob Shearer which occurred about the same time as the others. Will tell in a few days


How good did he strike it Bruce?

I have done a few demo days for him at his corporate golf days, top bloke.

#14 Itchy4Scratch

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 04:54 PM

He still struck it alright last year when I played with him. Haven't seen him around the club lately though, hopefully he's still travelling alright. 
 


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#15 bruce

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 05:11 PM

He still struck it alright last year when I played with him. Haven't seen him around the club lately though, hopefully he's still travelling alright. 
 

 

I think there was an injury foot issue Itchy


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