(Reuters) – Tommy Fleetwood’s caddy Ian Finnis has raised 10,000 pounds ($12,306) to help his fellow European Tour bagmen whose earnings have taken a hit due to golf’s suspension amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
FILE PHOTO: Mar 12, 2020; Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA; Tommy Fleetwood watches his tees shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the 2020 edition of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course. Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
The Tour has either postponed or cancelled events scheduled between March and May. The British Open has been scrapped this year while the other three majors, the Masters, PGA Championship and U.S. Open, have all been put back.
Fleetwood has five European Tour victories, including last year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, and has earned more than 18 million euros ($19.53 million) in prize money during his career, the European Tour website showed.
Finnis, who has worked with the English golfer since 2016, said on Twitter on Tuesday he was selling 1,000 raffle tickets at 10 pounds each with all proceeds going to benefit caddies.
The prizes included flags from Europe’s Ryder Cup team, a hat autographed by Fleetwood and tournament caddie bibs.
Four hours after launching the drive he tweeted again saying it had already met its target.
“Please no more donations,” he wrote. “Unreal from the golf world 1,000 tickets sold in four hours, £10k donations!!!
“Was expecting it to take a lot longer!!! Thank you to all that donated.”
Finnis said here on the GoFundMe Page he set up for the drive that it was a “tough time for everyone”.
“Some caddies will really be feeling this, with families and possibly no wages for three months so auctioning what I can to help them out,” he added.
“Me and my family struggled early on in my caddying career, so I know how hard it is at times and especially now.”
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford