Cairns happy to bide his time


AFTER being sidelined for most of last year with a serious wrist injury, Ryan Cairns is refusing to put pressure on himself as he launches an assault on the elusive Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open trophy at Royal Harare Golf Club starting today.


Cairns, who grabbed his maiden Sunshine Tour victory two years ago in the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Simola, has been working hard to rediscover his form after being sidelined for most of last year.

The 30 year-old warmed up for this year’s edition of the country’s flagship golf tournament with encouraging results both on the local Zambezi Tour circuit and the IGT Pro Tour in South Africa.

In his last fine tuning event a week before the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open, Cairns carded rounds of 73 and 68 to finish in a tie for third position in the Golden Pilsener Zambezi Tour’s Pre-Open Classic at Royal Harare Golf Club.

His encouraging run of from had started at the IGT Tour’s Centurion Academy Classic in Pretoria, where be managed a commendable sixth place finish after carding 69-72 and 69 for at the Wingate Park Country Club for 54-hole total of six under par 210.

However, despite the promising run, Cairns said he would not put too much pressure on himself to win the tournament like he has done in the past.

“I’m just trying to stay within what I can do right now because I’ve been out for so long,” Cairns said yesterday. “I’m just going to enjoy the course as it is rather than putting pressure on myself to win. I made the mistake of doing it last year and fell short,” he said in reference to his tie for 64th position last year.

The former St Georges College student was however Zimbabwe’s best performer at the 2013 s Zimbabwe Open where he came out tied for seventh position.

“I’ve started to see a lot better shots the last couple of weeks. Last week was awesome because it was nice to be in contention again. I had a putt on the final hole to get into playoff in the Pre-Open Classic, so it was nice to be in that sought of arena again but it’s a long process obviously.

Cairns will fly the Zimbabwe flag in the R 1, 8 million Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned event alongside other local contenders Tongo Charamba, Mark Williams, Mohammad Mandhu and Dean Burmester.

Charamba, who has won twice on the Sunshine Tour, was the highest placed local golfer at the conclusion of last year’s Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open after finishing in a tie for 10th position.

Mandhu will also head into this year’s Zimbabwe Open with his confidence high after winning last week’s Pre-Open Classic at the same venue.

Local golf fans would also want to see South Africa-based Burmester playing on home soil after a solid season on the Sunshine Tour where he has managed three top 10 finishes in his last four tournaments.

Burmester, who grew up in Nyanga recently ended the speculation about his 2016 Olympic allegiance by stating he will represent Zimbabwe and not South Africa when golf returns to the Games next year in Rio de Janeiro.