RYAN Cairns is the only Zimbabwean golfer who will tee off in the prestigious Johannesburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington this morning. The player will be exempted for much of this season after winning his maiden Sunshine Tour event last year.
Cairns will come in the event carrying the country's hopes after seven other players failed to make it through the pre-qualifiers.
The other Zimbabweans who failed to make the cut are Ignatius Mketekete, Tongo Charamba, Brian Gondo, Greg Bentley, Micky Hough, Tranos Muradzikwa and Mohammad Rauf Mandhu.
Mketekete fared better than his other fellow countrymen after he finished on two-under-par but this was not good enough to guarantee him a top 10 finish. Cairns will be getting into his second Sunshine Tour event of the season after making a mark in last month's Telkom PGA Pro-Am where he finished a credible 23 position with a nine-under-par total score.
The outing saw last year's leading local Sunshine Tour earner pocketing R7 160 to start his campaign on a positive note. In today's event, Cairns will tee off alongside South African Colin Nel and Chinese Mark Tullo around mid-morning. The three-ball will start at the western side which happens to be the back nine of the elite course.
In the same event last year, three Zimbabweans - Bruce McDonald, Cairns and Charamba - took part but all missed the cut.