Mketekete confident ahead of Zim Open

HARARE - After a fabulous start to his 2014 season, local golfer Ignatius Mketekete is hoping to carry his impressive form into this week’s Golden Pilsner Zimbabwe Open.

The Zimbabwe Open, the country’s premier golf tournament which is sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, starts tomorrow at Royal Harare Golf Club.

Mketekete is high on confidence after winning the first two tournaments of the year on the Zambezi Tour circuit.

The Chapman-based golfer came from behind to win Pre-Open Classic at the end of last month to cement his position as one of the country’s finest pros.

Mketekete beat Tongo Charamba on the first play-off hole after the two were tied in first place on four-under 140.

That victory was hot on the heels of Mketekete’s win at the Tour Players Championship at Wingate Golf Park earlier in March.

Just like what happened at the Pre-Open Classic, Mketekete rallied from behind to win the tournament ahead of Charamba at the first play-off hole.

The two were tied on five-under 136 at the end of the tournament held at Wingate Park Golf Club. 

“I’m feeling good and pretty confident of doing well at the Zim Open this year,” Mketekete told the Daily News yesterday.

“I will take whatever comes because this is golf and you never know what the course will throw at you.

“I’m also sure that our local golfers are going to do well this year because they were playing some good golf in those two tournaments we played. There were a couple of good under-par scores that were recorded.”

No local golfer has won the Zimbabwe Open since 2000 when Mark McNulty’s 19-under 269 gave him the crown at Royal Harare.

Since then, South African golfers have dominated the tournament, winning it every time on all the five occasions it has been held.

For Mketekete, this year’s edition of the tournament also gives him the opportunity to redeem himself after missing the cut in the last two years.

“I will make the cut this time around and I will not limit myself,” he said.

“Winning those two tournaments has brought back my confidence. Since turning professional in 2004, I was able to win at least one tournament every year but the last two years have been difficult for me.

“My golf was terrible and I did not only struggle to make the cut at the Zim Open but I failed to win a single tournament in two years.

“I’m still need some time to get to my best form but those two wins this year have made me more confident heading into the Zim Open this year.”

Jake Roos, who is the defending Zimbabwe Open champion, confirmed that he is coming to Harare to defend his title.

“Excited for the @GolfZimOpen on the @Sunshine_Tour. Classic old style layout. Staying with @c1gholfer & @ChrisBasson62 #chirpswillfly,” tweeted the South African yesterday.

Jbe Kruger, who won the 2011 Zimbabwe Open title, is also in the country hoping to get a second bite of the cherry.

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