Chris Paisley’s caddy opted to enjoy a longer festive holiday and there were no objections from his boss. The European Tour gets off to a slowish start with its first event of the calendar year the South African Open in Johannesburg. Paisley could see the sense in letting his caddy recharge the batteries before another intense season began.
In his place, Paisley would bring his wife Keri along for a holiday in South Africa and she took care of duties on the bag during the week. There was a lot to like about that setup as it gave the two the chance to see South Africa together, enjoy a few safaris and fit in a bit of golf along the way.
The best stories always have one thing in common, and that is a lack of expectation of the outcome. In the case of the Paisleys, this was an opportunity to share a getaway together before husband Chris hits the road again to ply his trade around the world, but after shooting four rounds of 66-65-70-66 and finishing on an exceptionally impressive twenty-one under par, the husband and wife combination had gone on and won the tournament and picked up a check for $141,396.
A fairytale story indeed and most impressive for so many different reasons. Chris Paisley had never won before on, on either the PGA or European Tour, after turning pro in 2010. That eight-year wait was broken with the help of his best friend and wife on the bag. It’s weeks like that that make memories for not only the two of them to cherish for the remainder of their lives but also the watching golfing world; a reminder that professional sport is so keenly followed because it dishes up stories no one could have predicted.
Subsequently, Keri has hung up her caddy’s bib and will leave the bag for Chris’s regular man, but her presence made it an extra special week for her husband. Her influence was massive and also helped Chris secure his spot at the 2018 Open Championship by winning in Johannesburg. Would there be a chance for Keri to return to carry the bag at Carnoustie in July? Chris Paisley may not be as highly favored as Jordan Spieth, who is +900 to win in golf betting but being an outsider didn’t stop him from defying the odds in South Africa against a field that had five previous major winners playing in it.
Whether or not Keri’s unheralded success on the bag influences any other players to go down the same route by asking a partner to carry their bags remains to be seen. The American-born Keri knows very little about golf by her own admissions but it appears that doesn’t have to be the prerequisite for success.
Remaining calm under pressure is above all what a professional golfer needs to succeed in an environment that is fiercely competitive. The blueprint the Paisleys put together is a unique one. Now it’s over to Mcilroy, Spieth and the other megastars to see if it is one that would benefit them on the odd occasion.