Published on June 16, 2020
June 16: Asian Tour caddies will stand to benefit from a fundraising initiative set up by their counterparts from the European Tour in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
European Tour caddies are helping others affected by the coronavirus outbreak with a fundraising prize draw for golf memorabilia to help their ‘caddie comrades’ on the Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour.
Organised by Brendan Mccartain, Gareth Lord, Billy Foster, Brian Nilsson, Jamie Lane and Zack Rasego, the latest efforts from the European Tour Caddies Association (ETCA) are aimed at assisting their colleagues and counterparts on the Asian Tour, represented by the Professional Tour Caddies Association (PTCA) and the Sunshine Tour, represented by the South African Caddies Association (SACA).
The fundraising campaign comprises of a Draw consisting of pieces of golfing memorabilia and equipment – donated by ETCA members, players and manufacturers – with a target of raising £28,000 to support the caddies who belong to those associations.
The idea was started by Mccartain, who was inspired to get a team of caddies together from the ETCA following an unexpected donation from the European Tour and the success of two similar initiatives set up by Foster and Ian ‘Fino’ Finnis in April.
“We got help when we didn’t expect it, and it started really because of what had been done for us,” said Mccartain, who caddies for Malaysia’s Gavin Green, 2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion.
“The European Tour kindly made a donation to the ETCA and none of the caddies had expected anything, so the fact that they did that was really cool. Then on top of that Ian Finnis, who caddies for Tommy Fleetwood, did a similar thing to what we’re doing, which was completely uninitiated by anybody. I thought, that’s got to be one of the most selfless acts I’ve ever seen by somebody.
“I’ve been a caddie nearly 30 years, and Fino’s not been out here a long time, so when I saw he did, I was completely blown away. He ended up raising £125,000, which was split among all of the European Tour Caddie Association members. It was an incredible thing.
“That’s what started it, and then seeing the situation that we’re in and realising that there are a lot of people who are in very different situations around the world, including our caddie comrades in Asia and South Africa. It could be a lot longer for the majority of them before they get back to work again.
“I thought, somebody needs to do something. We’ve all been going over to both Asia and South Africa for a long time and the European Tour is intrinsically involved with both Tours at different events every year, so there’s quite a strong relationship between us all. A couple of us spoke – especially Brian Nilsson, who caddies for Nicolas Colsaerts – and said why don’t we try some prizes together, get caddies to donate and try and raise some money for both the SACA and the PTCA, and the response from the ETCA was brilliant.
“It’s been a team effort. I set it up as a go fund me team with Brian, along with Jamie Lane, who works with Bernd Wiesberger, Billy Foster, who is with Matthew Fitzpatrick, Zach Rosego, who caddies for Christiaan Bezuidenhout, and Gareth Lord, who caddies for Justin Rose. All of them were more than happy to help, and all of them have been important.
“There are thousands of good and worthy causes, but we are in a position to help them, and we want to show them that we’re thinking of them in these difficult times. It may not be a huge amount of money, but hopefully we can raise enough to give them something.”
At present the Draw currently includes 39 prizes, with a cost of £5 per raffle ticket. Memorabilia includes signed flags from Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth, in addition to putters, drivers, and Ryder Cup clothing.
All proceeds raised by the ETCA will be distributed equally between the PTCA and SACA, and winners will be announced on June 25.