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Vincent on track for Olympic qualification

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

ZIMBABWE’S leading professional golfer Scott Vincent is on course to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after moving into the latest projected field of the men’s Olympic golf tournament for next year’s edition of the major quadrennial showpiece.

The men’s Olympic golf tournament for the Tokyo Summer Games will be played from July 30 to August 2 at Kasumigaseki Country Club’s East Course in the Tokyo suburb of Saitama.

With less than a year now left before the tee off date for the Olympic golf tournament, Vincent is on course to become the first Zimbabwean professional golfer
to feature at the Olympic Games in Japan next year.

The 27-year-old rising star, who has established himself as one of the top players on the Asian Tour circuit over the last three years is currently ranked 48th
on the official Olympics Ranking and 169th on the Official World Golf Rankings.

Qualifying for 2020 Olympics began in July 2018, with golfers accumulating points in an official Olympics Ranking that essentially mirrors the Official Golf
World Rankings.

The qualifying period runs through to June 23, 2020.

Based on the current rankings Vincent, who won his maiden overseas win at the Landic Challenge on the Japanese Tour in June is well poised to make it into the
final Olympic field of 60 men who will battle it out for the three medals in Japan next year.

Golf made a successful return to the Olympics at 2016 Rio Olympic Games following a 112-year absence.

Zimbabwe’s highest ranked golfer at the time Brendan de Jonge opted not to represent the country in Rio de Janeiro in a big to keep his full playing privileges
on the US PGA Tour.

Vincent, however, has a great opportunity to fly the country’s flag high next year in Japan if he maintains his good form on the international circuit.

A product of the country’s junior development programme, Vincent secured his Asian Tour card in his first attempt at Qualifying School in 2016 and went on to
be named the Rookie of Year in his maiden season in 2017 after claiming four top-10s in to finish in 17th place on the Order of Merit.

Last year Vincent was arguably the best player on the Asian without a win after claiming fifth position on the Asian Tour Order of Merit with nine top-10 finishes, including three runner-ups.

Vincent also played in a World Golf Championships (WGC) event for the first time in his career in 2018 after qualifying and making the cut in the WGC- HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai, China, before teaming up with compatriot Ben Follet-Smith at the World Cup of Golf in Australia.

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