Reigning Women’s British Open champion Ashleigh Buhai is eyeing a romantic triumph Down Under after husband David stepped in as her caddie.
Buhai’s usual caddie had to return home to Perth before the Australian Open started, meaning David – an experienced caddie himself – was drafted into the role.
David, who caddies full-time for Jeongeun Lee in the LPGA, was on the bag for Buhai for years after the South African pair met at a golf academy in Johannesburg, making them an experienced couple on the course.
Buhai carved out a bogey-free round at Kingston Heath on Friday morning, lowering her score to seven-under to shoot towards the top of the leaderboard.
Her husband was helping her keep calm on the course, she said, after finishing her round on Friday.
“It’s very professional. He’s really good at his job. As long as we both keep that as it is and keep the emotions aside, we work great as a team and he’s obviously a very good calming factor,” Buhai said.
“I’m able to tell him if I’m feeling anxious. Like yesterday, starting off I felt quite anxious the first few holes and he just said, ‘Don’t fight it, just let it happen’. After that I kind of slowed everything down and got into a good rhythm.”
Buhai said the sandbelt courses suited her style.
“I love sandbelt courses because I like to flight the ball, so you can kind of hit a mid-flight and let it feed out. Obviously, it plays a bit like a links and I kind of like links golf,” she said.
“You have to be very patient, although it played shorter than I’d say we’re used to on the LPGA. The pins were tucked, so you couldn’t necessarily just flag it. You had to hit it to the right spot and then try and give yourself a decent putt at birdie from there.”
Buhai said she found Victoria the tougher of the two courses, having shot two three-putt bogeys there on Thursday. She is preparing to play more patiently over the weekend given it “plays a little bit longer” than Kingston Heath.