BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
BUDDING female junior golfer Margret Nyamukondiwa continued her gradual rise in the sport after finishing fourth in the 2019 Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy played out at Nkonyeni Lodge and Golf Estate in eSwatini on Thursday.
The 15-year-old Heritage School pupil was the highest placed Zimbabwean on the leaderboard in Southern Africa’s premium golfing event for female amateur golfers, which attracted a strong field of 25 players from seven countries.
Nyamukondiwa, whose brother Tafadzwa is also one of the country’s top junior golfers, carded rounds of 83, 84 and 83 for a 54-hole total of 250 with another Zimbabwean Yolander Mubayiwa finishing seventh after posting scores of 86, 88 and 83.
South Africa’s Zethu Myeki finished top of the individual leaderboard with a gross of 218 after carding rounds of 75, 68 and 75, while her compatriots Sarah Bouch (72, 76 and 75) and Larissa du Preez (71, 73 and 79) finished in a tie for second.
In the team event, Nyamukondiwa’s strong showing allowed Zimbabwe to place third overall behind the eventual winners South Africa and second-placed eSwatini.
The experienced trio of Aulia Alfazema, Mubayiwa and Wadzanayi Kwaririma were also part of the Zimbabwe team in the absence of the talented duo of Emily Jones and Danielle Bekker.
South Africa won their seventh consecutive continental title after a combination for an eight-over 150 in the final to seal a successful title defence in the prestigious team event with a winning total of 434.
Hosts eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) posted rounds of 163, 167 and 166 for a tournament total of 496 to finish in second, eight shots ahead of third-placed Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Ladies’ Golf Union president Caroline Mtsambiwa, who accompanied the national team in eSwatini, said she was delighted with the team’s perfomance while also singling out Nyamukondiwa for special praise.
“The players discharged themselves honourably both on and off the golf course in eSwatini and I’m very proud of them. The course was not very easy for everyone, but they managed to hold their own. Margaret was obviously our best player, carrying on with her good form from the All Africa Junior Challenge, she is definitely a very promising player with a bright future,” she said.