Cairns heads down under


HARARE - Ryan Cairns says the game of golf is finally smiling back at him following his invitation to play alongside some big names expected at the Australian PGA Championship in Queensland from December 3 to 6.

Cairns will be making his way to the Gold Coast at the end of the year, officially making his first appearance in the PGA Tour event.

However, the sentimental value of his trip down under has left a sense of poetic justice that all his hard work is finally paying off.
The Harare raised golfer worked as a bag-room attendant for two years at a golf course which hosted the Australian PGA Championship before earning his tour card in 2007.

“My days were spent cleaning players shoes, clubs and picking up range balls. Everyday through the protective gauze covering the range-cart, with my earphones plugged in, I used to watch the players hitting shots over my head as I drove around collecting balls whilst imagining myself as one of them,” Cairns posted his Facebook page.

“There are many stories like this in the world of professional golf and this is by no means being written as a fairytale. I’m a journeyman pro, writing this in the hope that it reaches somebody who needs to know that it’s okay to go through rough patches, as they will pass. Also that this game isn’t easy, so it’s okay to practice for hours a day and see no results for a while (they are on their way though:) — but if you really want to pursue a career in professional golf, it’s not okay to ever give up on that. So shake off the bad days, smile and keep showing up, as you never know which day this game is going to smile back at you.”

Cairns travels to Australia on the backdrop of an unconvincing Sunshine Tour season which has seen him miss the cut in his last four events Joburg Open, Africa Open and Tshwane Open.

He will, however, hope for better fortunes at the Australian PGA Championship which is not only the richest tournament in 2015 with a prize pool of $1,75 million but it will also play host to a $1 million prize hole — a feature not seen in Australian golf since the early 80’s.

On Sunday, December 6, those competing in the final round of the tournament will have the chance to win a million dollars by making a hole in one on the 16th hole.

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