Vincent attracts US interest

HARARE - Kieran Vincent’s, pictured, performance at the 51st Junior Orange Bowl International Golf in Florida could attract the attention of Virginia Tech, the university that gave his brother a springboard only three years ago.

Kieran’s brother, Scott, impressed at the 2007 Junior Orange Bowl in Miami and caught the eye of Virginia Tech (Hokies) coach Jay Hardwick.

Hokies consequently signed the two-time Zimbabwe National Amateur champion, who has been a revelation since then.

Scott has blossomed to become Virginia Tech’s all-time scoring leader and a three-time winner this past year.

Buoyed by such strides, Kieran held his own at the 51st Junior Orange Bowl International Golf in Coral Gables, Florida, to romp to a sixth place finish.

Battling against some of the best 18 and under players in the world, the 17-year-old stood firm to close on one under par 283.

The reigning Zimbabwe Amateur Matchplay champion closed six strokes adrift of winner Joaquin Niemann of Chile.

He now makes the 13094 kilometer journey back home hoping that his performance will help shape his career.

His brother Scott is currently the fifth Zimbabwean to have received a Virginia Tech college education.

The first player to ply the Zimbabwe-to-Blacksburg pipeline was Sean Farrell in 1992.

Back then, Farrell caught the eye of Hardwick during the Junior World Golf Championships where he was Zimbabwe’s highest ranked junior golfer whilst Roger Baylis was coach.

From that expedition Baylis and Hardwick became friends.

Ironically, Baylis is still a part of Zimbabwe’s junior development with Scott Vincent having grown up learning the game from the junior development stalwart.

Other Zimbabweans to attain a college education at Virginia Tech include Brendon de Jonge in 1999-2003.

Brothers Nick (2004-08) and Marc MacDonald (2009-2013) were the third and fourth Zimbabweans to play for Virginia Tech.

That said, even if United States college scholarship do not befall Kieran he will hope his performance on the outskirts of Miami is enough to begin a path for a sterling professional golfing career  as is the case with previous participants of the tournament.

The St Johns College’s sensation does not have to look far as that grouping includes three-time major champion and Zimbabwean golf legend Nick Price.

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