BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
THE Zimbabwe ladies’ golf team underlined their status as a rising force on the continent after successfully defending their title in the 50th edition of the biannual Gilberson and Page Trophy golf tournament at Sigona Golf Club in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday.
Zimbabwe, who were represented by Kudzai Mandava, Batsirai Tilowakuti, Margaret Nyamukondiwa, Danielle Bekker, Emily Jones, Loveness Chandavengerwa and Rumbidzai Chisango, put up a wire-to-wire performance in the tournament, which also features top female amateur golfers from the hosts Kenya and Zambia.
After four days of action, which saw the teams battling it out in two-test matches at the Karen and Sigona golf clubs, Zimbabwe finished with an all rounds total of 47 points to beat hosts Kenya by 10 points, while Zambia finished third on 24 points.
It was Zimbabwe’s second successive triumph in the tournament after ending a 14-year wait to win the last edition of the tournament hosted by Zambia.
Zimbabwe Ladies’ Golf Union (ZLGU) president Caroline Mtsambiwa, who accompanied the team to Kenya, was full of praise for the young team.
“We are incredibly proud of our girls’ achievements,” she said.
“The team was in great form throughout the tournament and played outstanding golf. What makes our success even more incredible is the fact that we had the youngest team in the tournament and the success just goes to show the amazing talent they have.
“I’m happy that our vision as Zimbabwe Ladies’ Golf Union to develop our junior golfers is now bringing good results.
“In 2017 we won this tournament after a 14-year wait and we have now managed to successfully defend our title, we are not letting the trophy go for a long time.”
First presented in 1969 by Jack Gilberson and Reg Page of Zambia, the Gilberson and Page Trophy was originally played between Zambia and an East African select team.
The present format was adopted in 1983 as a triangular contest among Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe who have been the dominant team in the last two editions.