(Reuters) - Zimbabwean golfer Marc Cayeux made the cut in a professional tournament for the first time in seven years on Friday after having 27 different surgical operations following an horrific car accident in 2010.
Cayeux's right leg was shattered and his left foot was almost dangling following a collision with a police truck in southern Zimbabwe.
His injuries and the extensive surgery, which left one leg shorter than before, had threatened to end a promising career, yet his comeback passed a major milestone on southern Africa’s Sunshine Tour on Friday.
After missing the cut in his first five tournaments back on the Tour this year following his lengthy absence, he shot a one-under-par 71, following an opening day 66, to advance to Saturday’s final round of the 54-hole Origins of Golf Final.
“It’s been amazing. To make the cut is another box ticked, even though I never had any goals for the first year coming back,” he said at Simola Golf and Country Estate on South Africa’s eastern coast.
“It’s been a tough seven years, so, on my first year back, I had no expectations. I just basically tried to get back into the swing of things and learn all over again, even though the mind knows what to do, the body just doesn’t. It’s a physical challenge for me. Going through rounds is what’s required and mentally blocking out the pain.”
Before his accident, the 39-year-old English-born Cayeux had won nine Sunshine Tour titles and qualified for the European Tour.
After the accident, however, he required extensive physical therapy just to be able to walk again.
“The biggest challenge for me is executing a shot I know I can play, but the pain stops me,” he said.
“I still see shots that I used to hit. Facing the fact that I can’t quite hit them yet is a tough thing. But seven years ago, you wouldn’t have said I would be on a golf course again, so I’m going to soak it all up no matter what I shoot.”
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis)