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Disappointment for Zhang's caddie

A part-time caddie, who thought he had hit the jackpot when his employer Zhang Lian Wei won the Singapore Masters on Sunday, had his hopes dashed when he received just $700, local newspapers have reported.

The 38-year-old Zhang became the first Chinese player to win an event on the European Tour when he birdied the final hole at Laguna National Golf and Country Club, earning a career-best purse of 140,713 euros ($152,200) in the process.

But his Singaporean caddie, Osman Juami, was taken aback by his own share of the earnings, having expected payment of at least $7,500, the Strait Times reported on Monday.

"He (Osman) was shocked when he received seven crisp American hundred dollar bills," the newspaper quoted an unidentified friend of the caddie as saying.

"He had carried Zhang's bag for seven days -- four tournament rounds, two practice rounds and Wednesday's pro-am," he said.

Expectations by local caddies have run high since twice major winner Vijay Singh of Fiji was reported to have paid Poh Ah Chai $24,000 -- 10 percent of the player's own earnings -- for carrying his bag when he won the Singapore Masters in 2001.

Last year's winner Arjun Atwal of India paid his Malaysian caddie $7,500, the newspaper added.

Although Asian Professional Golf Association chief operating officer Justin Strachan told the Strait Times that a reimbursement of $700 "was on the low side", he added that payment of caddies by players was always a private arrangement.

A former javelin thrower, Zhang upstaged world number two Ernie Els by winning the Asian PGA Tour co-sanctioned event on Sunday, with his closing 70 leaving him one shot clear of the field at 10-under-par 278.

Els, who returned a 73, had been bidding to claim his fourth successive tournament victory but had to settle for second place after running up a bogey at the last.

 

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