Ethan Cairns

O, Canada Ethan Cairns, who is from Davie and attended Western High School, has qualified for the Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada

Davie’s Ethan Cairns emerged from qualifying with a 5-under-par 283 (70-73-71-69) at The Club at Weston Hills to finish tied for 24th, meaning he qualified for the Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada.

With long-time friend Sawyer Morgan, on the bag, Cairns took his first big step toward his ultimate dream. Morgan has been caddying for Cairns since his senior year at Western High School. He started at U.S. Amateur qualifying, then U.S. Open sectional events on to this.

“Our relationship has really evolved,” Cairns said, “starting from just being friends from the same golf course to someone I now talk to after almost every round I play, and even rely on for advice in tournaments I play in.”

Cairns, 23, was competing in Weston against players from around the world. He earned conditional status this year, meaning he is a Tour member and has the opportunity to earn sponsor exemptions as well as qualify into events that he doesn’t get into based of his status.

Cairns said qualifying at Weston Hills was a bonus because he had success there while playing at Western, his high school team winning a regional championship there in 2015.

“It was a huge help pretty much my home course from high school,” said Cairns, a 2015 Western High School graduate, and a two-time Academic All-American at Coker University. He graduated in 2019 with a degree in political science. “I have a lot of great memories there.”

He had hoped to get right into qualifying for one of the tours and was playing well in 2020 before the pandemic. It forced Cairns to take jobs giving junior clinics at Plantation Preserve and becoming an Uber driver.

“I had my plane ticket purchased and I was ready for Q-School last year when I got an e-mail saying it had been canceled,” said Cairns, who won the Broward Amateur in 2018 and was a medalist at the U.S. Open qualifier in 2019.

Leading up to last year’s Q-School, he said he was trending in the right direction after two top-20 finishes and several top-10s and top-5s in some mini-tour events.

“It was devastating, Cairns added. “I am beyond thrilled now that my hard work paid off during the last year training with my swing coach (Chris Granger from Plantation Preserve) and that I was able to earn my Tour card. This is a major step in reaching my dream of one day being on the PGA Tour.”
Cairns is scheduled to make his Mackenzie Tour debut in the L&J Golf Championship in Georgia, June 23-26.

“It was a long year with covid,” Cairns said. “I was planning on doing Q-School and literally three weeks before they said they were canceling the Tour, and that really hurt. It was like a needle in the balloon. It was pretty devastating. I just kept practicing and staying strong.

“When I got my card, I was ecstatic. It was a big sigh of relief that all that work and all that waiting finally paid off.”

Working Uber was “interesting” for Cairns, who said he met all kinds of people, including 2012 World Series of Poker winner Greg Merson. He sometimes worked until 3 or 4 in the morning and was on the course practicing at 7.

“I am happy to be able to go up to Canada and start my career off,” Cairns said. “I will be able to play PGA-sanctioned events and to have this opportunity now, and then possibly the Korn Ferry Tour and then ultimately the PGA Tour is a dream I have had since I was a kid. It is a huge accomplishment for me.”

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