ST JOHN’S College underlined their dominance in local schools golf after being crowned winners of the Inter-Schools Golf Tournament played out at The Brooke Golf Club (formerly Borrowdale Brooke Golf Club) last Sunday.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The Inter-Schools Golf Tournament, which is held once every term, attracted a big field of players, about 100 of them, drawn from 18 schools from different provinces around the country.
St John’s College, who have in recent years produced some of the country’s finest golfers, put up a solid display to finish tops in the tournament in the team competition, with the team with the lowest gross score at the end of the championship being crowned champions.
Under the three scores to count format, Darshan Patel led St Johns College’s campaign with a round of 79 while the duo of Ethan Kristiansen and Tamuda Kaseke carded scores of 80 and 87 as the eventual winners finished with a gross of 246.
The Rams finished five strokes ahead of Heritage and St Georges College, who both combined for a total of 251.
St Johns College also finished tops in the all division/all gender category with a gross of 337 to finish a shot ahead of the Hellenic Academy quartet of Jason Mcdonald, Michael Wallace, Vineet Patel and Takudzwa Basopo, who combined for a total of 336.
Tournament organiser Nesbert Chirewa said they were pleased by the increase in the number of participating schools.
“In the last couple of years, we have been struggling to have more schools participating but it has improved this year as we have had 18 schools in total,” he said.
“More schools are coming on board; it was pleasing to have schools like Milestone from Nyanga, Goldridge College from Kwekwe, and CBC from Bulawayo. The number of girls’ schools taking part has also increased significantly, which is quite encouraging,” Chirewa said.
Chirewa, however, noted that the level of competition from the participating schools had dropped compared to previous years.
“The level of competition has gone down in terms of quality, if you compare it with that of previous years where we had top players like the Vincent brothers Scott and Kieran, the likes of Ben Follet-Smith among others. Back then, the players would achieve very competitive scores, which is not the case anymore. For instance the winner this year shot a 78 and the best handicap among the players was a two, so the quality is not quite there.”
He said plans were now at an advanced stage to improve the standards of coaching in the schools through a partnership with the Harare Provincial Golf Union.
“I have been in talks with the Harare Provincial Golf Union, who are very keen to develop golf to the extent that they are willing to pump money into a coaching structure in schools golf. This will see us sending coaches to schools to make sure that the standard of golf goes up,” Chirewa said.
“In an effort to ensure that the players in schools get more exposure, we have also introduced a Harare league where different schools play against each other every two weeks so that we keep them competitive.”