Sask. golfer prepares to caddy in CP Women's Open
When some of the world's best golfers tee off at his home course for the CP Women's Open, Andrew Wilson will be right in the thick of the action.
Wilson, who has been a member of Regina's Wascana Country Club for more than 10 years, is preparing to caddy for one of the players at the upcoming CP Women's Open.
"It's pretty awesome for Wascana to have this event and caddying is as close as you'll get to the tournament," Wilson said after playing 18 holes on Friday before the course closed to the public.
"I've never caddied before so I'm not entirely sure what to expect, but I did seek a bit of advice and one guy who had caddied before told me the key is to 'show up, keep up and shut up.' So, I'll start there and see how I can help."
The tournament will run at Wascana from August 20 to 26, with the opening round starting Thursday.
The CP Women's Open traditionally attracts top players with one of the largest prize purses on tour at $2.25 million US. This year's competitors will include Canadian star Brooke Henderson and three-time CP Women's Open champion Lydia Ko.
Open call for caddies
A week ago, there was an open call for caddies for the pro-am, an event earlier in the week that sees the general public tee off with professionals before the competition begins. The tournament was looking primarily for caddies for the public, but when Wilson reached out and said he would be interested, he was paired with a professional instead.
Wilson will be partnered up with American Kassidy Teare for the week, carrying her bag and giving her tips about the course wherever he can.
This is the first time an LPGA event will be held at Wascana. Wilson said he can Teare a competitive advantage as a long-time member.
"I think I've seen pretty much every break on the greens and I've been in all the good spots and the bad spots on the course so I think I'll have some valuable information to share with her," he said.
Wilson said the toughest hole will be the fourth because its a longer hole with water along the left side.
His advice might be easier said than done.
"Just hit an aggressive drive and straight down the middle."
Major economic impact
Club CEO Greg Dukart estimated the economic impact of the tournament on the City of Regina will be between $7,000,000 and $10,000,000, with around 60,000 to 80,000 spectators expected.
Many features, like sky boxes and grandstands for fans to watch the action, have been added to the course in the lead-up to the tournament.
The 18th hole, will be surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of fans, something Wilson isn't used to seeing when he walks up the fairway.
"If I was playing in the tournament I'd definitely be nervous," he said.
"As a caddy I think you're in the background a little bit, so I'll be more so taking it in ... It'll be really cool to see."