RISING golf star Kieran Vincent is relishing the prospect of teeing off in the FBC Zimbabwe Open after confirming his participation in the country’s flagship golf tournament set for the Royal Harare Golf Club on Thursday.
The 25-year-old Zimbabwean will carry the country’s hopes of a first local winner in 23 years at this year’s tournament after claiming his maiden Asian Tour win last month in just his second year as a professional.
Kieran followed in his brother’s footsteps by securing the International Series Vietnam title at KN Golf Links on April 16 barely 10 months after Scott won the International Series England.
The Zimbabwean holed a decisive 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to beat Anirban Lahiri from India and Australian Kevin Yuan by one stroke.
It was a memorable win for Kieran, and he will be aiming to bring that same form to the FBC Zimbabwe Open at Royal Harare Golf Club, a course he knows very well from his time in Zimbabwe’s junior and amateur golf ranks.
In an exclusive interview with NewsDay Sport, Kieran revealed how he had planned to feature in the FBC Zimbabwe Open at the beginning of the year and decided to honour his commitment to support the country’s flagship event even after his recent win in Vietnam.
“At the beginning of the year when I sat down with my team, I wanted to make it a priority to come back and participate in the Zim Open if, when the dates did get announced, that they were not conflicting with anything major. This is the case and so I’m excited to be teeing it up after so many years being away from Royal Harare and the Zim Open,” Kieran said.
Despite his recent win on the Asian Tour, he says he will be sticking to his normal approach when he tees off in the FBC Zimbabwe Open.
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“It’s the same feeling I have when I tee it up every week; trying to see if I can execute my processes and learn from this opportunity that I (will) get to play at home in front of many familiar faces. Of course, winning is part of the game of golf and I believe most amateurs and professionals tee it up hoping their name will be edged in history,” he said.
Vincent, who is ranked 431st on the Official World Golf Rankings, is the highest-ranked Zimbabwean golfer in the FBC Zimbabwe Open field and will carry the nation’s hopes of a first local winner in 23 years.
Golf legend Mark McNulty is the last Zimbabwean to win the biggest golf competition in the country when he won the last of his three Zimbabwe Open titles in 2000.
Mutare-born Dean Burmester captured the Zimbabwe Open title in 2015, but the 33-year-old represents South Africa.
South African golfers have won every edition of the Zimbabwe Open Golf Championship since the tournament’s return to the Sunshine Tour schedule in 2010.
Royal Harare Golf Club-based professional golfer, Ryan Cairns was the highest-placed Zimbabwean golfer at the Zimbabwe Open last year after he tied for 14th place on two-under-par, eight strokes behind South African winner Albert Venter.
Local golf fans will also be keenly following Robson Chinhoi, who has been doing well on the East Africa-based Safari Tour along with fellow local professional golfers such as Visitor Mapwanya and Nyasha Muyambo.
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