BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ZIMBABWE’S leading professional golfers will have an opportunity to get some much-needed game time in preparation for upcoming local and foreign tournaments when they tee off in the Zimbabwe Challenge and Under Par Tour event at Royal Harare Golf Club this morning.
The 36-hole tournament, which is played in compliance with COVID-19 health protocols, will feature a strong field of around 50 professional, amateur and junior golfers.
The strong field is headlined by some of the country’s leading golfers such as Ryan Cairns, who is a winner on the Sunshine Tour and rising star Robson Chinhoi, who has been enjoying success on the Safari Tour in east Africa.
Cairns won the last Zimbabwe Challenge Tour event at Royal Harare Club two weeks ago, finishing ahead of Chapman Golf Club-based professional Nyasha Muyambo.
The pre-tournament favourite will face competition from Muyambo again this week as well as the inform Chinhoi and other seasoned professionals such as Visitor Mapwanya, Davison Elijah and Robson Saurombe, just to mention a few.
In the absence of regular tournaments on the local circuit, Zimbabwe’s professionals with the support of local stakeholders have decided to come up with innovative initiatives to ensure they get regular game time.
One such initiative is the formation of the Zimbabwe Challenge Tour, a brainchild of professional golfers at Royal Harare Golf Club such as former club champion Arnold
The Zimbabwe Challenge Tour has worked closely with the Chapman Golf Club-based Under-par Tour which is spearheaded by seasoned golf administrator Themba Sibanda, who has a passion for junior golf development.
Together, the two tours have been organising a series of tournaments for professional golfers to ensure they get the much-needed game time ahead of bigger events such as the Zimbabwe Open as well as other tournaments organised by the Zimbabwe Professional Golfers Association.
The 36-hole tournaments are held every fortnight with the prize money drawn from the entry fees from the participating players.
Royal Harare Golf Club teaching professional Simon Murungweni hailed various stakeholders for enabling local golfers get competitive game time.
“Obviously these initiatives have also been possible due to the support from Royal Harare Golf Club management led by the general manager Ian Mathieson,” he said.
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