Ryan’s chain-reaction season

Ryan Cairns’ Big Easy Tour Observatory win rekindled his golfing fire, and his victory at Simola Golf Estate last week is a sign that there is plenty more to come from the Zimbabwean.

“I would call that a big win on the Big Easy. It did a world for my confidence to win. I played half-decent in the Zim Open after that, but this week has been even better,” he said.

The 28-year-old had a glittering junior career, most notably finishing fourth in the World Junior Amateur in 2002, but despite claiming 10 Sunshine Tour top-10s, did not capture victory until 2012.

This year has been a different story – Cairns shot a magnificent 63 during round one at Observatory and backed it up with a second-round 66, stamping a winning 15-under-par total onto his resume.

His victory on the development tour did exactly what the Big Easy Tour aims to do – it groomed Cairns to seize opportunities that arise on the main tour. Simola’s outcome tells the story of a new Cairns.

“At Simola I was playing great golf,” he said. “There are rounds like that, I was just playing well and I felt really good out there. I was ready for the playoff – I had this feeling that I just had more golf to play.”

The latest Sunshine Tour champion didn’t just win, he did it in style, matching the course record of 62 and then chipping in for eagle during a playoff with Vaughn Groenewald. The rarity of such a victory reveals the level of golf Cairns is capable of playing.

Hard work pays off, and it must be noted that the Royal Harare Golf Club representative has put plenty of time into his golf, reassured of his skill after claiming a win. “You never stop working, but now that I know what my routine is every day I’m just going to stick with it,” he said.

The future once again looks bright for Cairns. His newfound mental strength is backed up by solid skill, and the monkey is off his back.

“Mentally this means everything,” he said. “Now there is no stress. There is a different mentality when you’re prequalifying. That’s bad stress, because your expenses come from your own pocket and you feel pressure to do well and earn some money. But now it’s good stress, like having a six-footer on the last to make the cut.”

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