Charamba, Cairns looking for home win in Harare

He has won twice on the Sunshine Tour and TC Charamba will be looking for his third title when he tees off in the Africom Zimbabwe Open which gets underway on Thursday at the Royal Harare Golf Club.

He started poorly with a three-over-par 75 in last year’s event when the tournament was resurrected after a break, and that didn’t help his cause as he ended up in a share of 39th behind winner Jbe’ Kruger.

But he will take comfort that his last victory also came outside the borders of the Sunshine Tour’s South Africa, and he will try to make use of every little ounce of extra support the local players will feel as the R1.25-million event unfolds.

He hasn’t had a great start to the 2011 Sunshine Tour with missed cuts at the lucrative European Tour co-sanctioned Africa Open and Joburg Open.

And it was a quiet 2010 too, as he finished 34th on the Order of Merit, with just one top 10 finish when he came second to Grant Muller in the Lombard Insurance Classic in Swaziland.

But the familiarity of his homeland will encourage him, and his abilities make him a dangerous competitor.

The 27-year-old will face a stern challenge from another 27-year-old Zimbabwean, but Ryan Cairns will be looking for a maiden professional victory.

His home open championship will be his season-opener on the 2011 Sunshine Tour, and he told he would like nothing more than to have his first win occur this week in his homeland.

He, like Charamba, had one round which let him down last year, when a second-round 73 left him in eighth place when all was said and done.

He has never finished better than fifth, as wins have been elusive for him. He has nine top-10 finishes in 74 events. Although he failed to qualify for the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the SA Open Championship at the end of last year, he is hoping that his last quarter in 2010, when he finished in the top 20 in three of his last four tournaments, bodes well for 2011.

He ranked first on the Zimbabwe Junior Golf Order of Merit in 2002, and he hope to covert that to a win this week.

And Charamba was the best amateur in the 1999 Zimbabwe Open – it’s about time he converted that position into what would be a popular victory.

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