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Wallington to lend a hand to golf star Wie
FORMER professional rugby league player Mark Wallington has landed the biggest job of his new career to date.
The 41-year-old will kick-start the new LPGA Tour as caddy to American superstar Michelle Wie at the season’s opening Australian Open in Yarralumla today, Thursday.
After a rollercoaster 2012 caddying for LPGA players Caroline Hedwall, Catriona Matthew and Candie Kung, he explained how the opportunity came about.
“I got a random e-mail from her management group asking if working with Michelle was something I would be interested in and whether I would send my CV to them,” said Wallington, whose first taste of success had come on the bag of Europe’s Solheim Cup star Sophie Gustafson in 2011.
“Within a few days I was told Michelle and her team were very happy and was willing to give it a go.
“I have yet to work with her, although I was paired in the same group a few times last year so I know her quite well.
“I have had a few e-mails from her team with regards to how she likes things to work, and it's going to be difficult but I'm excited about the challenge.”
The move marks another step forward in a blooming career since the former Warrington Wolves, Prescot Panthers and Woolston Rovers full back made the switch to caddying in 2007 following a horrific injury.
A surgeon and years of intensive rehab saved his leg, ensuring that the ex-BARLA international savours every day out on the course.
“I enjoy everything about what I do,” he said.
"But there is no better feeling than when you are up on the leader board coming down the last on a Sunday. Hopefully this year nobody will be above us on that board!”
Despite a comparitively weak 2012 season, Wie is still 65th in the world rankings and is planning on a return to the form that helped her amass more than $2m in earnings after only four years on tour.
"Michelle had a poor season last year for her standards so to help her get back playing the way she can is my first goal,” said Wallington.
"She has a full schedule planned and I'm sure she wants to be involved in the Solheim Cup in Colorado come August time."