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.