Cairns triumphs at Simola

2012-05-14 10:18
Ryan Cairns (File)
Knysna - Ryan Cairns fired a course-equalling 10-under-par 62 at Simola Country Club to set the clubhouse target in the final round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Simola Country Club.

Then, after all that hard work, the Zimbabwean still had to produce a brilliant chip for eagle at the first extra hole to beat a determined Vaughn Groenewald in a playoff.

On a day when the leaderboard was as tight as bark on a tree, early starter Cairns romped into the lead when he produced a barrage of birdies to set the clubhouse target at 15-under-par 201.

Overnight leader Jake Redman tried; Titch Moore made a momentous effort and even James Kamte and Louis de Jager got into the action with 67s, but no-one could touch Cairns.

It came down to Groenewald, who had stayed within a shot or two of the Zimbabwean, the thwart the 28-year-old’s bid for his second victory this season.

Two back with two to play, Vaughn made a confident birdie at the 17th and a magnificent up and down for birdie on the 54th hole to force the tournament into extra time.

But Cairns was ready for him.

“I knew it would be close,” said Cairns. “I told my caddie when he birdied 17, that there was no way he wasn’t going to birdie the last, so we warmed up and I was ready to go.”

Back on the 18th tee, Groenewald and Cairns both split the fairway but the Zimbabwean’s approach finished 14 feet from the front of the green, while Vaughn finished approximately 45 feet short and left of the green.

“Vaughn hit his third to about four feet, so I knew I had to get it close,” said Cairns. “I had a chip in chance in regulation play, but it hit the hole. This time I just took my time and made sure it dropped.”

A few months ago, Cairns went equally low when he raced through his first nine holes in 28 shots to card a first round 63 at Observatory. He sealed his maiden win in the Big Easy event with an equally impressive 66. But a 62 is as low as he has ever gone before.

“I’ve been working really hard on my game since September and I was very diligent with my routine and the hard work start paying off at Observatory,” he said. “Sticking to the routine was the difference today. I hadn’t broken 70 in three months and now it’s becoming a habit I like a lot.”

Victory means exemption which means no more pre-qualifiers for Cairns and that is the biggest payoff, said the Zimbabwean.

“A six-footer for birdie is good pressure, a missed cut or failing to qualify is bad pressure,” he said. “Not to qualify means I’m a whack of money out of pocket and that is the difference between paying the rent or not. Not having to qualify is like a mountain of pressure off my back.”

Meanwhile Southern Cape’s Redman carded a 71 earn his biggest pay check this season with a tie for third on 12-under-par 204 with De Jager.

Port Elizabeth pro Titch Moore shut out any doubt about his return to form with a 69 for a share of fifth with Queenstown’s Kamte on 11-under. Trevor Fisher jnr carded a final round 68 to finish alone in seventh on 10-under-par 206.

Scores (RSA unless specified):

201 - Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 71 68 62

201 - Vaughn Groenewald 67 68 66

204 - Louis de Jager 70 67 67, Jake Redman 69 64 71

205 - James Kamte 70 68 67, Titch Moore 68 68 69

206 - Trevor Fisher Jnr 71 67 68

207 - Christiaan Basson 70 71 66, Ulrich van den Berg 71 68 68, Albert Pistorius 66 72 69

208 - Bryce Easton 66 72 70, Anthony Michael 70 66 72, Justin Harding 69 67 72

210 - Branden Grace 70 71 69, Andrew Georgiou 69 72 69, Neil Schietekat 68 70 72

211 - Jacques Blaauw 70 72 69, Peter Karmis 69 71 71, Ruan de Smidt 68 72 71

212 - Chris Swanepoel 72 71 69, Jaco Ahlers 73 69 70, Mark Williams 72 70 70, Louis Calitz 71 70 71

213 - Desvonde Botes 73 71 69, Alan McLean (SCO) 76 68 69, Dean Burmester 74 69 70, Charl Coetzee 72 71 70, David Ryan 66 76 71, Keenan Davidse 69 72 72, Steven Ferreira 72 69 72, Merrick Bremner 69 71 73

214 - Mark Murless 73 71 70, Drikus van der Walt 78 62 74

215 - Johan du Buisson 71 73 71

217 - Ross Wellington 69 73 75

218 - PH McIntyre 72 72 74, JJ Senekal 71 71 76

219 - Jean Hugo 71 72 76

220 - Ryan Strauss 72 72 76

222 - Alan Michell 73 71 78

227 - Lean Boezaart 74 70 83

RTD - Lyle Rowe 71 73 RTD

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