RISING teenage golf sensation Sean Crocker was yesterday rewarded for his brilliant run of good form in the United States after being included in the Zimbabwe team for the prestigious World Amateur Team Championships to be held in Mexico later this year.
By Daniel Nhakaniso
The biannual championship, which is also known as the Eisenhower Trophy, is widely acknowledged as the pinnacle in amateur golf and this year’s edition will be held in Riviera Maya, Mexico from September 21 to 24.
Nineteen-year-old Crocker, who is on a golf scholarship at the University of Southern California, was included in the team as the Zimbabwe Golf Association (ZGA) selectors’ choice after missing the local qualifying tournaments due to his hectic schedule in the US.
Recently, Crocker further enhanced his status as one of the world’s leading amateurs after winning the Monroe Invitational at the Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, New York after firing a brilliant final round of seven-under-par 63.
The young golfer, who is the son of Bulawayo-born former Zimbabwe Test cricketer Gary Crocker, is part of an exciting young side which includes Mississippi State University star Ben Follet-Smith and 17-year-old Chapman Golf Club prodigy David Amm.
Follet-Smith and Amm confirmed their places in the Zimbabwe team after finishing first and second respectively on the local Eisenhower Trophy qualification standings, while another local rising star Kieran Vincent narrowly missed an automatic spot after finishing third.
ZGA development officer Boniface Chigorimbo is confident that the trio of Follet-Smith, Amm and Crocker are the strongest team to represent Zimbabwe.
“Ben, David and Sean are our highest ranked players, they have all had the experience of competing abroad against strong international players and I think they are definitely up to the challenge,” Chigorimbo said.
The veteran administrator, who heads the association’s selection panel which includes veteran golf coach Roger Baylis, ZGA vice-president Mufaro Chivonivoni and Matabeleland Golf Union president Victor Suerga, also explained Crocker’s selection.
“Sean Crocker was a unanimous choice for the selectors pick due to his exploits in the US. He is the highest ranked African on the World Amateur Golf Rankings at the moment and certainly one of the best amateurs in the world at the moment. We are really delighted he is part of the team and will certainly bring a wealth of experience,” Chigorimbo said.
Zimbabwe last competed at the Eisenhower Trophy at the 2012 edition held in Turkey, finishing in a five-way tie for 17th with Wales, Poland, Thailand and Netherlands at the 73-team tournament on three-under-par 425.