ZIMBABWE’S leading junior golfer Kieran Vincent is relishing the opportunity of testing himself against some of the world’s best junior players when he tees off in the 24th edition of the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan starting on Tuesday.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Vincent, younger brother of United States-based professional Scott Vincent, will spearhead the local challenge at the prestigious team event after a superb display at the same tournament last year.
The 18-year-old rising star — who is due to take up a golf scholarship at Liberty University this August — helped Zimbabwe to a commendable 12th place finish at the same tournament last year, while also finishing 13th individually out of a field of 60 of the world’s best junior golfers.
Young Vincent will yet again be part of another strong Zimbabwe lineup in Japan this year which includes fellow rising stars David Amm, Justin Kersten and Bekithemba Ndlovu.
In an interview with Standardsport before the team’s departure for Japan last week, Vincent said he was confident the team would improve from their overall perfomance last year while he was also hoping do better individually.
“I’m really looking forward to the tournament as Japan is a really nice place. The Toyota Junior Golf World Cup is a world-class tournament with an exceptionally strong field. I just hope I can carry through my confidence from last year.
“I believe we can finish higher than last year’s 12th place finish. I mean, the team has come a long way since last year and for most of us besides Beki [Bekithemba Ndlovu] we’ve played here multiple times so we’ve experienced the works on the course. Being more experienced helps because it shouldn’t take us too long to adapt to Japanese golf conditions and I just hope we can use that to our advantage,” said a confident Vincent.
The Toyota Junior Golf World Cup is the world’s only junior golf championship in which 15 national teams — winners of regional qualifiers held across six continents — compete for the world championship.
The Zimbabwean team will be joined in the stellar field by players from defending champions and hosts Japan, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand and the United States.
The Toyota Junior Golf World Cup tournament follows a four-players-count-three scores format and the team with the lowest total score at the end of the four rounds will be crowned champions.
Zimbabwe’s four-member team will be accompanied by the long-serving Chapman Golf Club teaching professional Roger Baylis, who is the coach, while Royal Harare Golf Club pro Simon Murungweni is the team manager.
Zimbabwe Junior Golf Association president Themba Sibanda will be the head of delegation.