Cayeux walking Joburg Open fairways to recovery

2016 Joburg Open: Day 2Cayeux aims to walk all four rounds of the Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington this week – from behind the ropes, that is.

“If I can walk four rounds, then I can play golf for 72 holes and that’s my goal,” Cayeux said during Friday’s second round.

The Zimbabwe-born golf professional with his brilliant grip-it-and-rip-it style approach to the game won nine times on the Sunshine Tour before a horrific car accident in Zimbabwe in 2010 derailed his promising career.

His left foot was almost severed from his leg and his right femur so badly damaged that it almost appeared beyond repair at the time.

After four frustrating years with the aid of crutches and 27 operations later, he’s finally walking again.

“Twenty-seven ops. It’s a good golfing number: it’s like I’ve done three nines,” joked Cayeux, whose sense of humour often carried him through the dark days.

Cayeux was involved in a head-on collision while he was travelling alone from the Beit Bridge border post along the Masvingo-Chivhu road in Zimbabwe.

“I crashed head-on with a police truck when the commander of Manyame District swerved out for a cow and drove straight into me,” Cayeux explained.

“He died at the scene and I was airlifted to the NetCare Millpark Hospital. The doctors told me that my golf career was definitely over, but I’ve always had a goal to get back on tour and the faith that God would give me the strength to achieve this.”

These days, apart from just walking, he is also playing golf again.

Having received special dispensation to compete on the IGT Tour, he entered the Race to Q-School season finale at Centurion in November.

He shot 76-70-73 over the 54 holes – a pretty good effort considering all he’s been through – was a far cry from the sizzling 61 that included a back nine of just 29 strokes he fired to win the 2005 Vodacom Tour Championship at Country Club Johannesburg.

But despite the consistent pain, Cayeux says it’s great to be back.

“I proved to myself at Centurion that I could play three rounds and now four is the goal. Hopefully by this time next year I will tee it up in the SA Open.

“Mentally, I’m ready to re-join the Sunshine Tour, but physically it’s still too soon. I still need a 28th operation to fix a hernia, so hopefully 2017 will be my comeback year.”

Cayeux followed the match of Ernie Els, Germany’s Marcel Siem and 22-year-old Brandon Stone, who won the BMW SA Open at Glendower last week, over the first two days of the Joburg Open.
“Ernie still has that same wonderful swing and Brandon, I reckon, is the next big thing in South African golf,” Cayeux said.

“When I do get back on tour, I’ll have to chase young guys like him; guys who can pump it a mile off the tee, while I’ve lost yardage and am an inch shorter than I used to be.

“In 2014, they had to shorten my left leg by three centimetres to get me level again, so at least I’m not walking in circles anymore!”

 

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