ZIMBABWE’S leading professional golfer Scott Vincent is well poised to make a maiden appearance at the $7 million ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf after being named as the first alternate in the star-studded field for the global showpiece to be held at The Metropolitan Golf Club, in Australia in November.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 26-year-old star has been enjoying a solid season on the Asian and European Tours, which has lifted him to a career-high position 161 on the Official World Golf Rankings.
Vincent was on Wednesday named as the first alternate, just outside the top 28 countries which have officially qualified for the 2018 ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf based on the Official World Golf Ranking for the week of September 3.
The Harare-born former St John’s College student and Virginia Tech University graduate, however, still has a chance of qualifying for the World Cup in the event that any one of the top players from the 28 qualified teams does not to commit to the event by September 13.
“If the top-ranked player elects not to commit, the option will be passed to the next highest-ranked player from that country based on the Official World Golf Ranking,” the organisers said in a statement last week.
“Alternate countries can potentially qualify if the top-ranked player from one of the qualified 28 countries does not commit, and the next highest-ranked player is lower in the rankings than a player from an alternate country.
“For instance, if Canada’s Adam Hadwin does not commit to the event, the next eligible player from Canada is Graham DeLaet, who is ranked No. 260 in the standings. Since Scott Vincent from Zimbabwe is ranked higher than DeLaet, Vincent and Zimbabwe would then take over Canada’s position as one of the 28 teams qualified.”
Zimbabwe has a very rich history in the World Cup of Golf, finishing as runners-up in the 1993 and 1994 editions of the tournament held in Puerto Rico and the USA respectively.
The country was represented by the legendary trio of former world number one Nick Price, Tony Johnstone and Mark McNulty.
US-based Brendon de Jonge was the last Zimbabwean to feature at ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf following his 12th place finish at the 2013 edition of the global tournament at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
The qualified entrants are: 1. United States, 2. England, 3. Spain, 4. Italy, 5. Ireland, 6. Australia, 7. Sweden, 8. Japan, 9. South Africa, 10. Thailand, 11. Denmark, 12. South Korea, 13. China, 14. Argentina, 15. Canada, 16. Scotland, 17. Belgium, 18. New Zealand, 19. Venezuela, 20. France, 21. Austria, 22. India, 23. Netherlands, 24. Chinese Taipei, 25. Finland, 26. Mexico, 27. Germany, 28. Chile.
Alternates: 1. Zimbabwe, 2. Paraguay, 3. Malaysia, 4. Wales, 5. Greece.