Chitengwa inducted into SA Golf Hall of Fame

HARARE - Lewis Chitengwa, whose career was cruelly cut at its prime has been post-humously honoured for his extraordinary contribution to golf following his induction into Mercedes-Benz Southern African Golf Hall of Fame.

The Zimbabwean golf fratenity was plunged into mourning in July 2001, when Chitengwa passed on suddenly at the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada.

He died after being infected with meningoccoccal meningitis bacteria, having fallen ill after the second round of the Canadian Tour's Edmonton Open.

But his exciting golfing prospects and early achievements had done enough to leave an indelible mark on the lives he touched and inspired.

His memory still lingers on with the hosting of several memorial championships while countless testimonials have been written about his life.

Now 13-years on, South Africa has become the latest country to honour Zimbabwe's late illustrious golfer.

Chitengwa was inaugurated into the Southern African Golf Hall of Fame inductees for 2015 along with South African golf luminaries Fulton Allem, John Fourie, A E Vernon Ronnie Glennie and Conyers Kirby.

Chitengwa, who died aged 26, rose to prominence at the 1992 Orange Bowl World Junior Championship in Miami, Florida.

Then unheralded, Chitengwa went on to upstage America`s top junior golfer Tiger Woods by three shots to win the Orange Bowl Junior Championship at the Biltmore Golf Course.

He would go on to become the first black man to win the South African men's amateur championship in 1993, a feat often referred to as the African golfing equivalent of Jackie Robinson's achievement in baseball.

He won the Zimbabwe amateur championship three times on the trot beginning 1992, 93 to 94.

Chitengwa, who would turn pro in 1998 and was a rookie on the Canadian PGA Tour, went on to become a two-time All-America selection at the University of Virginia.

He finished seventh in the 1996 NCAA championships, the best finish by a Cavalier golfer since 1940.

His father Lewis Chitengwa Snr, an accomplished coach, was last year also recognised by the Zimbabwe Golf Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his immense contribution to the sport.

After learning of his son's death, Chitengwa Snr said Zimbabwe and Africa had been robbed of a world beater.

"We are very, very much devastated," Muridzo Snr said at the time.

"His main aim was to be No. 1 in the world. The whole country, the whole continent will be devastated about this thing."

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