(Reuters) - World number six Sergio Garcia has roped in former French Open tennis champion Juan Carlos Ferrero as his caddie for his title defense at next month’s Thailand Golf Championship, the Spaniard said on Tuesday.
Garcia will face stiff competition at the Dec 11-14 event with twice U.S. Masters champion Bubba Watson, U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer and former world number ones Lee Westwood and Ernie Els also in the field at the Amata Spring club.
Ferrero, also Spanish, topped the tennis rankings in 2003 after claiming his only major title at Roland Garros but retired in 2012 after 14 years on the men’s tour.
“I’ve played golf with him many times but he never caddied for me before,” Garcia said in an Asian Tour news release.
“We just talked about it and he mentioned about it and we decided to do it. He is excited about it.”
Garcia’s girlfriend Katharina Boehm was on his bag when he won the title last year.
”Katharina is fine,“ Garcia added. ”She is happy to step aside and support from the side lines. It always helps to have a friend on your bag.
“It is good fun to be able to enjoy golf and have a good time with a good close friend.”
(Fixes tournament’s name in intro)
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Amlan Chakraborty