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Amateur golf team in South Africa

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A four-member Zimbabwe amateur golf team is in South Africa for the bi-annual African Amateur Golf Team Championships which teed off at the Lake Club Benoni in Johannesburg yesterday.

Zimbabwe is being represented by the quartet of Clive Nguru Jnr, Emmanuel Hungwe, Nicholas Masunga and Kayman Mandhu while the Zimbabwe Golf Association (ZGA) Joe Sithole is the team manager.

According to reports from South Africa, prior to yesterday’s first round tee off the players took part in the opening ceremony before having their first practice round on Monday.

The championships which are being organised by the South African Golf Association will run until Friday and the competing African countries include hosts South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Reunion Island, Mauritius, Botswana and Swaziland.

Since the biennial African Amateur Golf Teams Championship was launched in 2001, South Africa has dominated the event.

After winning the inaugural championship in Swaziland, the local side won in Botswana (2003), Uganda (2005), and Namibia (2007) and in Egypt last year. Over the next three days, the 11 participating nations will face off at one of Ekurhuleni province’s toughest tracks.

The 6,536m layout at The Lake Club, Benoni is situated next to one of the four largest expanses of water lakes that form a chain through Ekurhuleni and is well known as the Middle Lake.

The 18 hole Parkland’s layout course demands accuracy, a solid short game and above standard putting, but with the country’s top four ranked amateurs campaigning in New Zealand, Van der Merwe said he and his teammates are relishing the chance to fly the flag for South Africa. The championship will be contested over four rounds of strokeplay.

Each team consists of four players, but only the best three scores per round will count toward the team total. The country with the lowest gross score at the end of the championship will be crowned the AAGTC champion and there is also a prize for the overall individual winner.

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