Mazibuko takes aim at Zim Open title

HARARE - South African golfer Irvin Mazibuko has every reason to feel confident ahead of the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open that tees-off here tomorrow.

Zimbabwe is now like a second home to Mazibuko, who has taken part in the last two Zambezi Tour events held last month.

The 30-year-old finished in tie for third at the Golden Pilsener Pre-Open Classic held here in March after carding a two-over 146.

Mazibuko followed that with a 12th place finish at the Chairman’s Cup at Borrowdale Brooke a week later.

The deeply religious Mazibuko is back in the country since the start of the week and is now preparing to have a shot at winning Zimbabwe’s premier golf tournament.

“I’m expecting to do well because I have prepared well and I love this place. That’s the most important thing. I’m happy to be back here,” Mazibuko told the Daily News yesterday.

“The reason I had to play in the Zambezi Tour was because I wanted to play in the (Zimbabwe) Open but my category wouldn’t allow me to enter.

“It was good for me to play here to play this golf course with no pressure. Just knowing I’m not playing under any pressure to win.

“Playing here during the Pre-Open Classic was tougher than now. The course looks easier for the championship and I’m ready for it.”

It has been a testing year for the father of four, who has made the cut in only once at the Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School in January.

At the Telkom PGA Championship, Mazibuko missed the cut after he carded a 73 on the first day.

“The game of golf is a personal game. We all fight our own personal battles on the golf course. If I win my personal battle better than everyone else I will be the champion at the end of the day,” he said.

“It’s all in the mind and more than that. My preparation has been good and I want to do well. That’s all that matters to me on the golf course. I have been putting some work into my game and I’m really feeling good.”

This year will be Mazibuko’s fourth Zimbabwe Open tournament after taking part in the previous three editions since the event was resurrected.

In 2010, he was placed 32nd on the final leader board after carding rounds of 72, 72, 72 and 69 to finish on three-under.

He missed the cut in 2011before a 65th place finish last year and believes.

“The tournament is growing each year and the atmosphere here makes you feel like you are a real professional golfer,” Mazibuko says of the Zimbabwe Open.

“When you walk onto the course you feel the atmosphere. The people here love the game and I’m sure it’s going to grow.”


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