Cairns finds the going tough

HARARE - Zimbabwe's Sunshine Tour contender Ryan Cairns had a torrid time at the just-ended Nelson Mandela Championship played at the weekend in South Africa.

Cairns finished the rain-affected tournament at the Royal Durban Golf Club tied for position 139 together with South Africans JG Claassen and Titch Moore after carding a gross total of seven-over 137.

The co-sanctioned Mandela Championship was supposed to tee off last week on Thursday but persistent rainfall forced the organisers to delay the start.

Another day was also lost on Friday as the downpour was unrelenting as all the fairways remained waterlogged.

The weather allowed play to finally start on Saturday and the organisers had to cut short the event to 36 holes.

The course was reduced from its initial par 70 of 6,194 metres to a par 65 of 5,594 metres.

Cairns had a terrible start to his first round of the tournament when he carded a five-over 70.

Five bogeys and a double bogey on the 18th were the main blemishes on his first round card.

The Zimbabwean was a long shot off the leaders, who were led by South African Tim Clark and Morten Orum Madsen of Denmark on five-under 60 at the end of the first round.

Cairns’ game improved a little bit in the second round when he fired a two-over 67 on Sunday.

But his undoing came on the front nine when he had a triple bogey on the eighth hole.

In the end, Scott Jamieson of Scotland claimed his maiden European Tour victory after three-way play-off against Englishman Steve Webster and Eduardo de la Riva of Spain.

The three golfers had finished tied on seven-under 123 at the end of 36 holes.

“It was a strange day,” Jamieson said. “First thing this morning, I didn’t think I’d end up standing with the trophy.

“Of course there were nerves in the play-off. But that’s why we play – to get into that situation, and that’s what I kept telling myself. Those guys would have been nervous too. It’s just a question of who plays the best golf.”

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