Zim golfers out to break jinx

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s leading amateur golfers are hoping to ruffle a few feathers and end South Africa’s dominance at the All-Africa Zone VI Golf Tournament that tees off at Kampala Golf Club in Uganda this week.

It will be a daunting task to topple South Africa, who are undefeated in 16 years out of the 20 years the competition has been in existence.

But that has done little to dampen the spirits of the fledgling Zimbabwean golfers, who believe they can overcome those odds over the three-day competition.

The other teams participating at this year’s championships are Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia, Swaziland, Namibia and Malawi.

The Zimbabwe team taking up the challenge includes Stuart Krog, who won the Amateur trophy at the just-ended Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open at Royal Harare Golf Club.

The former St George’s College pupil was the only amateur that made the cut at the country’s premier golf tournament and will be hoping to carry that momentum into the Africa Zone VI.

Also in the team are David Amm, Tonderayi Masunga, Kieran Vincent, Visitor Mapwanya, Doctor Maphosa, Pride Sembo, John Milazi and Howard Bauti.

The side will hope to go one better than their silver medal standing achieved last year.

“I am confident that we are going to win,” Zimbabwe Golf Association president Aiden Mhere said yesterday.

“The boys should be able to mount a serious challenge. I don’t see why the guys who went there cannot make us proud.”

Mhere said in Uganda, Zimbabwe will be represented by its best.

“Selection is entirely on merit. We have a ranking system based on the amateur tournaments we have here where the top eight by a certain date are the ones chosen. That ranking system is objective,” he said.

“I think there was a bit of disappointment that Thembelani Vundla pulled out. He has recently been accepted into a South African college which unfortunately could not give him leave of absence.

“Anyway that has opened the door for David Amm to come into the side. I am really excited about the prospects of the amateur golfers we have in the country.

“The results are there for all to see, just look at the Zim Open pre-qualifier. It was the amateurs that were on top of professionals. Our future is bright.”

The inaugural All-Africa Golf Championship was won by Zimbabwe in 1995.

South Africa’s juniors triumphed in 1996 and 1997, lost to Zimbabwe in 1998, and have won every tournament since then.

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