Cairns carry Zim's hopes

HARARE - Leading local pro golfer Ryan Cairns is looking forward to a relaxed build-up to the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open that tees off here tomorrow.

Cairns is carrying the expectations of the entire country of a local winner at Zimbabwe’s premier golf event.

Since Marc Cayeux’ was critically injured in a car accident in 2010, Cairns has taken over the reigns as Zimbabwe’s best prospect at this flagship event.

The 29-year-old will play in the pro-am this afternoon before spending the rest of his day with his girlfriend before he starts his quest to win the Zimbabwe Open on his home course.

“My expectations have been put aside and I’m just going to play at the course that I grew up on and have some fun out here. If I do that well then the results will come,” Cairns told the Daily News yesterday.

“I think it’s important for me to stay in my little own head space and just play the course that I know. Not get hyped up with the tournament, the sponsors and all that stuff. I just need to go out there and play golf.

“If can do that… I have shot some really low scores around Royal Harare so it’s just going to be a matter of being patient and playing the shot that is in front of me.”

Cairns added: “There is always going to be that element of pressure but at the end of the day this is what I do for a living. I’m out there playing firstly for myself because it’s the way that I make a living and if I can play well and have a good week.

“It will be great to have the whole country and spectators behind coming up the 18th on Sunday. But we will have to wait and see what happens before that.”

Cairns comes into this tournament on a run of some really good form after winning the Pre-Open Classic and the Chairman Cup on the Zambezi Tour last month.

“I have been playing some good golf for all year especially the last couple of weeks playing the Zambezi Tour,” he said.

“Winning those two tournaments has been good for my confidence. I have been putting a lot of hard work into my game.”

Cairns hopes to us his knowledge of Royal Harare, a course known for its fast greens, to his advantage when the Open tees off tomorrow.

“I have been playing them in the last couple of weeks and have seen them progress. They have gone from eight to 11.5 on the Stimpmeter but I’m used to playing fast greens,” he said.

“The thing with Royal is that they are fast but they are true so if you pick a right line they are going to go in. I just hope it’s a good week for all the Zimbabweans, that my main thing.

“I’m looking to play well but also hope a bunch of other local pros make the cut and they are in contention on Sunday.”

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