Jnr Golf World Cup team looks to change fortunes

HARARE - Zimbabwe's leading junior golfers are optimistic of leaving an indelible mark at the Toyota World Junior Golf Championship in Nagoya, Japan, despite facing a daunting task to do so.

The 72 holes Junior Golf World Cup, which follows a four-players-count-three scores format, is set to tee off in Toyota City on June 24 with Zimbabwe’s hopes firmly pinned on fledgling stars Stuart Krog, Justin Kersten, Kieren Vincent and Mbongeni Maphosa.

Having qualified for the Junior World Cup after coming second to South Africa at Chainama Golf Club in Lusaka Zambia six weeks ago, Zimbabwe will have to punch above their weight in Japan.

They return to the tournament after a nine year absence with 2001 winners South Africa having been Africa’s sole participant over the years.

What makes Zimbabwe’s task even more mountainous is that history provides the teenagers with little inspiration.

You will need to go back to 1993 to find the last time the African side competed favourably at the Junior World Cup going on to finish a decent seventh.

Since then they have flattered to deceive with their last appearance coming in 2005.

At that tournament Zimbabwe struggled dismally as they finished last.

Now they will need to change their fortunes when they battle against top young golfers from USA, Norway, France, Italy, South Africa, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina and Chile.

And Zimbabwe Junior Golf Association president Brian Maphosa believes his teenagers have the ability to do so.

“The past can always be corrected,” he said.

“Zimbabwe has always been on the world stage when it comes to golf and we will definitely make a mark as well.

“We have a very strong team of disciplined and talented players who can stand against the best the world of junior golfers,” he said, adding:

“We have a strong team which has excelled in their own individual capacities in various local and international tournaments.”

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