Cairns relishing Australian PGA Champs chance

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ZIMBABWEAN golfer, Ryan Cairns is relishing the chance to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in the game after receiving a sponsors’ invite to feature in the prestigious Australian PGA Championship in December.

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
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The Australian PGA Championship, which is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the European Tour is Australia’s richest golf tournament, boasting of a highly lucrative prize fund of $1 750 000.

An elated Cairns yesterday confirmed his invitation to this year’s Australian PGA Championship, which will be held at the RACV Royal Pines Resort in Queensland, Australia from December 3-6.

In a post on his official Facebook page titled For the Dreamer, the South Africa-based golfer chronicled his amazing journey from his humble beginnings as a driving range and bag-room attendant at the same course, which will host the high profile tournament.

“Before earning a tour card in 2007, I worked as a bag-room attendant for two years at a golf course, which hosted the Australian PGA Championship every year. My days were spent cleaning players shoes, clubs and picking up range balls,” he said.

“Every day, through the protective gauze covering the range-cart, with my earphones plugged in, I used to watch players hitting shots over my head, as I drove around collecting balls, while imagining myself as one of them.

“Today I received an email confirming that I’m going to be a player in the field of that same tournament and now get to tee it up alongside the likes of Adam Scott, Brandt Snedeker and others playing in the Australian PGA Championship, with my brother Brendon on the bag.”

The 31-year-old Sunshine Tour professional, who has previously played on the Canadian Tour and the 2014 PGA Tour Latinoamérica Qualifying School, was hopeful his story would inspire other golfers not to give up on their dreams.

“There are many stories like this in the world of professional golf and this is by no means being written as a fairytale. I’m a journeyman pro, writing this in the hope that it reaches somebody who needs to know that it’s okay to go through rough patches, as they will pass,” he said.

“This game isn’t easy, so it’s okay to practice for hours a day and see no results for a while they are on their way though. If you really want to pursue a career in professional golf, it’s not okay to ever give up on that. So shake off the bad days, smile and keep showing up, as you never know which day this game is going to smile back at you.”

Cairns, who turned professional in 2005, won his first professional event outside Zimbabwe on the Big Easy Tour, the Sunshine Tour’s developmental tour, in March 2012.

He won the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Simola Golf and Country Estate on the Sunshine Tour, securing the victory in a playoff after he chipped in for an eagle at the extra hole.