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Cairns wins Big Easy event

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South Africa-based Zimbabwean professional golfer Ryan Cairns warmed up for next month’s Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open in style with a two-shot victory in the second round of the Sunshine Big Easy Tour at Observatory Golf Club in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The Cape Town-based golfer shot 63 in round one, and added 66 on Wednesday to move to
15 under par and claim a victory over South African Jeff Inglis.

The 28-year-old raced around the par-37 front stretch in 32 after an eagle at the second secured him the lead

“I was determined to stick to my game plan today (Wednesday),” he told The Citizen.

“Last year on the Zambezi Tour, I lost a tournament by being defensive after leading by eight shots, so this is very special,” said Cairns who shot a six under 66 to finish on 15 under par.

“I’ve been working hard on my game since September last year. I have been playing well, but this week came out of nowhere.

“I haven’t been able to break 70 once this year so to suddenly be 15 under shows that the hard work has paid off.” And with Danie van Tonder — who also shot 63 during the opening round — lurking dangerously, the 28-year old managed to keep his cool despite a bogey at the 393m par-four 12th.

His birdies at the 10th and 16th proved to be enough to keep Van Tonder and a charging Inglis at bay. He pinpointed his chipping and putting as the one area of his game which has brought him the most success.

“I think I chipped in twice this week and I’m very confident with my putting at the moment,” he said. Cairns is looking forward to playing in his home country when the Sunshine Tour heads off to the Royal Harare Golf Club from April 19 to 22.

“The Zimbabwe Open will be at my home course in three weeks’ time, so I really want to prepare for it. I’ll be taking a lot from this win,” said Cairns, whose last victory came at the Joshua Nkomo Classic in November.

The Big Easy Tour, which is a rung below the Sunshine Tour, was launched last year to give a wider selection of professionals a chance to play in competitive, officially-sanctioned events.

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