Increased purse for Zim Open

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Open Golf Committee (ZOGC) yesterday announced an increase in the prize fund for the 2013 edition of the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open.

This year’s Open will tee off on Independence Day on April 18 at Royal Harare Golf Club with a field of 156 golfers expected to be in attendance.

ZOGC chairperson Livingstone Gwata revealed a 10 percent increase in the purse for the golfers.

Last year, the total purse for the Sunshine Tour-sanctioned event stood at R1, 5 million. This year it has increased to R1, 65 million.

Gwata paid tribute to the event’s sponsors, who have been joined this year by Tongaat Hullet Zimbabwe as associate sponsor.

“The title sponsor is Golden Pilsener. Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe joins Zimplats and Innscor Africa as associate sponsors. Jaguar and FBC are the anchor sponsors,” said Gwata.

“South African Airways remains a partner of the Open along with Schweppes, who are providing the official water for the tournament.

“The Zimbabwe Open Golf Committee remains indebted to the sponsors of this tournament whose investment in the development of golf as an employer of choice for our golfers must be applauded.

“The Zimbabwe Open Golf Committee expects other companies on board as partners before the tournament tees off.”

This will the fourth time the event will be held after it’s resumption in 2010 following a nine-year absence between 2002 and 2009.

ZOGC are expecting an overwhelming response from the big golfers on the Sunshine Tour to be at Royal Harare in April.

“This year’s tournament is expected to have a very competitive line-up as it is being held at a time when there is no key event in major tours such as the Asian and European tours,” said Gwata.

“Past winners Jbe’ Kruger (2010), Theunis Spangenberg (2011) and Chris Swanepoel (2012) are expected in Harare for the tournament.

“Besides the financial windfall that comes with this tournament, top players on the Sunshine Tour are expected to troop in as all the players know that the pot is considerably sweetened by the world ranking points that are available.”

The field of 156 will be made up of 114 pros from the Sunshine Tour while 16 slots will be availed to the leading golfers on the Golden Pilsener Zambezi Tour order of Merit.

A pre-qualifying tournament will be held on April 14 at Chapman Golf Club, where the remaining 26 slots will be up for grabs.

ZOGC have also organised two pro-am tournaments on the two days preceding the start of the Open on April 18.

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