Ashleigh Simon from South Africa is proposed to by her boyfriend and caddie Dave Buhai on the 18th green. Image Credit: Ladies European Tour

Dubai: Ashleigh Simon may have finished 11 over par in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters but her spirits were most definitely lifted with a marriage proposal from her caddie boyfriend David Butai on the 18th green.

Having finished with a double bogey after hitting the water on the last hole to add a 76 to earlier rounds of 72, 76 and 75, many would have forgiven Buhai for cancelling the occasion and picking a better moment.

However, ‘Ashleigh, will you marry me?’ flashed up on the leaderboard as planned and he went down on one knee to pop the big question.

And luckily she said ‘yes’.

“We had a running joke that we would get married in the year 2023,” said Buhai, 28, from South Africa, who has been with fellow Johannesburg native Simon, 26, for nine years, six of which as her caddie.

“I said to Ash, every birdie she makes, we’ll knock a year off that date. But she obviously didn’t want to because she kept going backwards with quite a few bogeys.”

Buhai was obviously confident that she would say yes regardless of her worsening score, as even mid-round his partner was enquiring as to the big day.

“I don’t know what made her ask,” he added. “But she was asking about how many people we would have at our wedding [while on the course on Saturday]. I said ‘relax’, we still have to get engaged first.

“I always wanted to propose to her in Dubai, the season finale, and I knew she wouldn’t expect it. I got my sister [a diamond dealer] to make the ring and it’s been a process of trying to hide it ever since I got here.

“Today it was in the bag and I was pretty nervous because she kept going in there. I was like ‘this is my bag, what do you need out of it?’ She was starting to give me strange looks. But somehow I managed to hide it.”

Simon explained she didn’t suspect a thing. “I saw all these people behind the green on the 18th and I was thinking someone behind us must be having a really good round today,” she said. “I was thinking why is everybody here and everything? I really didn’t expect this at all.

“It’s amazing, he’s done really well,” she added of the ring. “I’m lucky that his sister is a diamond dealer. So, hopefully she gave him a good deal and it didn’t break his bank account too much.

“Unfortunately the golf didn’t go well but it’s ended really good this week,” she added.