Love on the fairway

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Not only did Jordan Zunic win the NZ Open three years ago, he won the love of his life.

It all started when Arrowtowner Maryanne Marlow was drawn to be Zunic’s playing partner in the pro-am.

During the course of the golf event, Maryanne and her husband Bernard invited Jordan round for dinner.

It was there the then 23-year-old Aussie locked eyes with their daughter, Olivia.

The pair stayed in touch over the following weeks, with her in NZ and he across the ditch.

Olivia called her mum a few months later to ask for some advice.

“She said ‘I think I quite like this fellow and he’s off to Asia to play golf – what do I do?’, and I said ‘well, you get on a plane and go over to Australia and find out if you really do like him’,” Maryanne says.

“Jordan’s a lovely boy and we liked him very much after I played golf with him.

“He was just a really nice young man, well brought up and all the rest of it – not arrogant or any of those things.”

Olivia’s been living in Sydney with Zunic for nearly two years now, and late last month they announced their plans to tie the knot.

She says: “We sometimes go, ‘oh, if Jordan hadn’t been paired with mum in the tournament three years ago, or if I hadn’t got time off work’, we never would have met.

“But it’s just one of those things, it’s just meant to be, and we’re really happy that it happened and it’s quite fun telling the story every now and again.”

Four months ago she quit her job in employment relations to be Zunic’s full-time caddy, and they’ve already had success as a team.

The best was a runner-up finish at last year’s Australian PGA Championship after a nail-biting play-off with fellow Australian Cameron Smith.

Maryanne, who had to win her spot in a qualifying event back in 2015, has been pressure-free leading up to this year’s event because Bernard, who will be her caddy this weekend, bought her the spot.

This family group will be worth keeping an eye on, as Zunic is a contender for the Open title while he and Maryanne will be a force in the pro-am.

The 2018 ISPS Handa NZ Open tees off today.

mandy.cooper@scene.co.nz