ZIMBABWE’S four-man junior golf team will be aiming to secure one of the two available tickets to the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup to be held in Japan later this year when they battle it out for top honours in the 2017 All-Africa Junior Golf Championship in the capital this week.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 23rd edition of the prestigious junior team championship tees off at Royal Harare Golf Club on Tuesday, running through to Friday with 12 national teams from across the continent competing for the two available slots for the global event to be held in June.
Zimbabwe, who have won the tournament twice, in 1995 and 1998, will be joined by record 19-time champions South Africa, Morocco, Namibia, Kenya, Tunisia, Reunion Islands, Mauritius, Zambia, Botswana, Uganda and Malawi.
The country’s fledgling teenage golfers will be captained by Chapman Golf Club rising star David Amm, a former Junior World Cup participant, who currently sits atop of the national junior golf rankings.
A multiple winner on both the local amateur and junior circuits, Amm heads into the continental showpiece in very good form after recently managing a commendable 11th place finish at the prestigious Curro South African Juniors International in Cape Town.
Amm will be well-complemented by Bulawayo-based Justin Kirsten, who has also previously represented Zimbabwe at the World Cup on two occasions in 2015 and 2016, while Tafadzwa Nyamukondiwa and Thompson Masiya will be making their debut in the competition.
This year’s event will run concurrently with the All Africa Junior Girls Championship where Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and Zambia will be chasing the sole ticket to the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup.
The hosts will be represented in the girls’ competition by Danielle Bekker, Emily Jones, Margret Nyamukondiwa and Rumbidzai Chisango.
Zimbabwe Junior Golf Association president Themba Sibanda said they were grateful for the support from their anchor sponsors BancABC and the game’s governing body, the R&A towards the hosting of the tournament.
“Getting corporate support in this tough economic environment has been a big challenge but we’re grateful to the sponsors that have come onboard, especially the anchor sponsors BancABC, which have really helped us a lot,” Sibanda said.
“We are also grateful to the R&A, who actually contribute quite significantly to this tournament which plays an important role in the development of golf on the continent.”
The buildup to the continental tournament is expected to gather momentum today with the arrival of the participating nations today before the official practice round and flag raising ceremony at Royal Harare Golf Club tomorrow.