BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
LEADING Zimbabwean amateur golfer Kieran Vincent (pictured) capped off a memorable comeback season for the Liberty University men’s golf team after being named among the best collegiate golfers in the US by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) on Friday.
The 22-year-old rising star made his return to competitive golf at the start of the season after missing the entire 2017-18 season and some part of the 2019 season due to injury problems.
Vincent enjoyed a remarkable return to the course, finishing the season, which was cut short due to the coronavirus outbreak, in style by being named to GCAA All-America honourable mention team for the first time in his fledgling career.
The honour meant Kieran joined his brother Scott, who also earned All American honours during his sterling collegiate golf career at Virginia Tech University before turning professional.
Scott is now Zimbabwe’s top-ranked professional golfer plying his trade on the Asian, European and Japan Golf Tours.
And his younger brother Kieran could soon be joining him on the paid ranks, judging by his impressive performances for the Liberty University golf team, which competes in the top-tier National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I.
Kieran, who is also studying for a degree in business administration, finished the season with a solid stroke average of 71.17 from the six events in which he featured.
The Zimbabwean eclipsed Liberty University’s stroke average record previously held by Swedish European Tour and the PGA Tour player Robert Karlsson, who finished the 2010-11 season with a 71, 28 stroke average.
Kieran is a product of Zimbabwe’s junior golf development programme, led by the legendary Chapman Golf Club teaching professional Roger Baylis, which has produced many golfers who have gone on to represent the country internationally.
The former St John’s College student participated in over 60 amateur tournaments during his high school career, representing the Zimbabwe junior and amateur national teams in several international tournaments.
His exploits for Zimbabwe in prestigious tournaments such as the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship, the Toyota Junior World Cup and the World Amateur Team Championship attracted the attention of Liberty University who offered him a golf scholarship.