Cairns finishes 74th in Mauritius

HARARE - Ryan Cairns made his best earning on the Sunshine Tour season on Sunday after picking up a $1,491 prize for his 74th finish at the $1.1 million Mauritius Open that concluded at Heritage Golf Club.

The Harare-born professional golfer who was playing on the sponsors' invite scored a six-over-par 290 total in the tournament tri-sanctioned by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours.

He carded rounds of 69 74 72 75 to finish some 19 strokes off eventual winner George Coetzee of South Africa.

Coetzee got the better of Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen in a playoff to win the inaugural Mauritius Open, triumphing at the second extra hole.

It was his third win on the European Tour and second this season, following his victory at the Tshwane Open on home soil in March.

"I actually felt more nervous during the day than the play-off and I'm happy to have pulled through it," Coetzee told the Sunshine Tour website.

"Thorbjorn did unbelievably well to put pressure on me the whole day. I actually had to work to catch him in the end."

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Zimbabwe golfer Scott Vincent will be hoping to continue his stellar form for Virginia Tech when the Hokies tee off in the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf regional in Noblesville, Indiana.

Vincent this week reflected on earning a coveted spot in the field for last month’s RBC Heritage Classic PGA Tour stop.

At that tournament, Vincent made the cut with back-to-back 1-under-par 70s before finishing with cards of 71 73 and 64 in the 131-player field.

He beat such notable players as Ernie Els, Patrick Reed, K.J. Choi, Zach Johnson and former Virginia Tech player Johnson Wagner.

Speaking in an interview with Roanake Times in Blacksburg, Vincent spoke at length of his taste of the tour.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, what part of my game would be there or not. I was surprised. I felt pretty comfortable out there after the first two holes or so. Once I kind of got those out of the way, it was just playing golf.”

The biggest rush of the week came when one of his idols, Ernie Els, approached him on the practice putting green.

“I’m there putting, and the next thing, I just feel this presence hovering over me,” Vincent said. “I look up, and Ernie is looking right at me. Whoa, what a huge guy,” he said.

“That was awesome he kept up with me, a guy that big actually took some time to see how I did.”

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