'Junior golfers did well'

HARARE - Zimbabwe Junior Golf Association president, Brian Maphosa believes the country’s top four junior golfers should hang on to the positives from their last place finish at the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan.

Zimbabwe’s quartet of Stuart Krog, Justin Kersten, Kieren Vincent and Mbongeni Maphosa shot a combined score of 33-over-par 885 to finish last in the 15-nation tournament staged at the Chuckyo Golf Club.

The foursome were in trouble from the opening round after posting a wild 224 whilst subsequent rounds of 221 and 226 saw them remain rooted at number 15.

However, a more controlled final round 214 ensured the young golfers left Japan with their pride intact although it was too little too late to change the complexion of Zimbabwe’s standing.

“While the team came last, it was an achievement to have played with the elite of the world's junior golf. For the juniors to have reached that far, speaks volumes of the talent that the country has,” Maphosa told the Daily News.

Maphosa said the deflating result was not a true reflection of how Zimbabwe fared against some of the world’s top ranked junior golfers.

“What’s needed is working on issues of preparation. Resources remain a challenge as the team could not have adequate means of preparation for this level of competition,” he said.

“This was also the first time after a nine year absence in the competition and this was bound to have a negative impact on the team as well.”

Maphosa, however, admitted more needed to be done to gear young Zimbabwean golfers for the competition at this stage.

“Admittedly the level of competition that was displayed at the tournament is really PGA kind of stuff. We are obviously going back to the drawing board and preparations for next year's tournament have to start now,” he said.

“What is also encouraging is that for next year, girls are also going to be full participants in the tournament. This year's girls that participated in the tournament were by invitation only.

“We believe we should have a strong team for next year that includes the likes of Margaret Nyamukondiwa and Danielle Bekker that should have come of age then as they are playing excellently already at such tender ages.”

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