ZIMBABWE’S leading amateur golfers will be hoping to finally end South Africa’s dominance when they tee off in the eighth edition of African Amateur Golf Teams Championship in Kenya this week.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The four-member team which comprises Visitor Mapwanya, Tonderai Masunga, David Amm and Robson Chinhoi, will line up against golfers from 17 other African countries at Limuru Country Club from tomorrow up to Thursday.
Other countries that have confirmed their participation, include hosts Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Swaziland, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Zambia, Mauritius, Egypt, Rwanda, Botswana, Namibia and Uganda.
Zimbabwe have traditionally done well in the competition, although they have always come second to neighbours South Africa who have won every edition of the biannual event since its inaugural in 2001.
However, despite the last-minute withdrawal of top junior player, Kieran Vincent owing to exams, Zimbabwe has a very strong squad that has the potential to upstage the South Africans.
Mapwanya is Zimbabwe’s highest-ranked player in the competition as he currently leads the Zimbabwe Golf Association (ZGA) order of merit standings and will be hoping to continue his form in Kenya.
Other players to watch in the Zimbabwe team include Amm, who did an outstanding job at the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan and Masunga, who captained Zimbabwe to victory at the inaugural Africa Golf Confederation President’s Cup in Zambia last year.
Chinhoi has been enjoying a stellar season on the local circuit, winning the Zimbabwe Amateur Championship and the recent Hwange Open title, where he held his own against professionals.
The top amateur from Hillside Golf Club was decidedly pleased to learn of his selection and told Standardsport that he was looking forward to this week’s tournament.
“This is a dream come true for me,” he said. “Every athlete dreams of representing their country and I have worked really hard to get myself eligible for selection. I am over the moon to earn this honour and I look forward to representing my country with pride.”