Zim Junior golfers out to break jinx

HARARE - Zimbabwe's leading junior golfers face a daunting task to lift the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship and eclipse South Africa who are undefeated in 15-years of the 19-year history of the competition.

The All Africa Junior Challenge will be a 72 holes stroke play format staged over four days at Chainama Hills Golf Club in Lusaka from 28 April to 1 May, with South Africa once again favorites to continue their fairy tale run.

The Zimbabwe Under-19 junior team to take up the challenge include Stuart Krog, who holds the No 1 spot in the Zimbabwe Golf Association’s junior rankings, Jack Allard, Justin Kerscen and Kieran Vincent.

Vincent, Kerscen and Allard are respectively ranked second to fourth whilst travelling reserve Mboyena Maphosa is ranked fifth.

The crop of fledgling stars will hope to go one better than their silver medal standing achieved last year at Le Touessrok Golf Course in Port Louis, Mauritius.

Zimbabwe Junior Golf Association president Brian Maphosa yesterday backed his teenagers to rise to the occasion and change their fortunes of their All-Africa Junior Challenge outings.

“This is a different year and we are going to compete to better our previous finishes,” Maphosa said.

“We are sending our best in terms of the players who are leading junior golf rankings from the holiday tournaments we have had over the last 12 months.

The boys are preparing well, going through the motions. Although we are yet to appoint an official coach and the meeting next week should confirm who that will be.”

Maphosa said although Zimbabwe has become perennial bridesmaids of the All-Africa Junior Challenge, they have always been close.

“I believe we have always sent a strong team. We are expecting a tough contest from South Africa. Last year we were leading until the last day of the competition. So beating them is something that can be done,” Maphosa said.

Other countries expected to compete in the 19th edition of the prestigious junior team championship include the host nation, Ghana, Kenya, Swaziland, Uganda, Namibia and Mauritius.

The inaugural All-Africa Junior Golf Championship was won by Zimbabwe in 1995.

South Africa’s juniors triumphed in 1996 and 1997, lost to Zimbabwe in 1998, and have won every tournament since then.

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