Zim fear for Eisenhower place

HARARE - A Zimbabwe Golfers Association (ZGA) gaffe might cost the country its place at this year’s edition of the Eisenhower Trophy in Japan after the federation “forgot” to enter the team within the deadline.

The Eisenhower Trophy is a biennial world amateur team golf championship for men organised by the International Golf Federation.

More than 70 countries from around the world will travel to Japan this month to contest the Eisenhower Trophy.

The tournament carries the ultimate in prestige for a country’s best four amateur players.

It is a stroke play event, in which the best two scores from three players count toward the team’s score for each round.

Zimbabwe, known as Rhodesia then, first played in the Eisenhower in Italy in 1964, making it just 50 years ago.

Because of Rhodesia’s political situation (the Unilateral Declaration of Independence was imminent) they were at first refused entry buy the organisers, declaring that the sport of golf at international level was superior to politics.

Rhodesia’s team was made up of Bob White, Mike Reinders, Gordon Owen, Dick Cahi with Charles Ingham as manager.

Rhodesia and Zimbabwe’s entry has been submitted every year — until now.

The tournament was named after general Dwight Eisenhower, who led the D-Day invasion of France again the Nazis in 1944. He was later elected US president.

The ZGA failure will be a major disappointment for the country’s top amateurs and there would have been considerable competition for the four places.

However, the ZGA might be allowed a late entry, which if it happens, one might think is more than they deserve.

Efforts yesterday to get a comment from ZGA president Aiden Mhere, secretary-general Wellington Chando or any of the association’s executives were unsuccessful.   

The Eisenhower Trophy has been won by 10 different teams since the event began in 1958 at the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland.

The United States is the most successful country in Eisenhower history, with 14 wins.

Great Britain and Ireland, who last combined as a team in 2000, have four wins and Australia have three.

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