Cairns wins JM Busha Pro-Am

HARARE - Zimbabwe professional golfer Ryan Cairns reeled in six birdies en route to a sensational six-under-par second round 66 to steal the show at the JM Busha Pro-Am Invitational staged at Chapman Golf Course.

Cairns had been lurking in fourth place after carding 73 on the opening day but a fine second round display helped him secure the winner’s medal on three-under-par for the tournament.

It was just five shots shy of Chapman Golf Course record of 61 shot by Mark McNaulty before the turn of the millennium.

Steven Ferreira settled for second place, a shot adrift, following identical rounds of 70 while David Amm and Scott Vincent finished in a two-way tie for third on one-under-par for the tournament.

Vincent, who has been having a roller coaster season on the European Tour where he has so far racked in 169 000 pounds in 12 events, was delighted to be back home.

“My wife and I looked at the schedule and realised we had a week-and-a-half off so we decided to come home,” he said.

He revealed he was living his boyhood dream, ignited as a 12-year-old when his then coach Roger Baylis told him he will make his living on one of the professional tours.

“It didn’t feel like too long ago when I was a junior under Roger Baylis’ wing dreaming about the future. Before I knew it, I was out there competing on the European Tour and Asian Tour,” Vincent told the Daily News on Sunday.

“I want to encourage the young golfers that these dreams can come true...to the professional golfers, I played alongside you in the Zone 6s and All Africans. You were with me every step of the way. You guys are all very good players. It’s not far. A little more birdie parts and you will be right there. If I can make it so can you.”

Vincent paid tribute to tournament sponsors saying Zimbabwe had the talent but lacked games to sharpen their skills.

Zimbabwe Professional Golfers Association president Gary Thompson was upbeat about the low scores shot at the pro-am.

“You are getting under par scores every time they tee it up. Now they may not win the Zimbabwe Open but the more they play, the more they get out there, they will get better,” he said.

Chapman Golf Course is arguably one of the country’s finest venues, though often times in the shadow of the more prestigious Royal Harare.

Cedi Jonker, the tournament coordinator said:  “The players are deeply appreciative to JM Busha and the sponsors for getting behind not just the golf but the whole idea of cycling and marathon all in one all on one day — I mean it’s superb and most likely a first-ever for the nation.”

Joseph Makamba Busha who is founder of JM Busha Investment Group, which is responsible for managing about R5 billion in retirement fund, said he was in it for the long haul.

“This is all about the future. I am here to create a platform to help athletes become the best of what they can be,” he said.

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