A total of 11 Zimbabwean golfers will descend on Zambia ahead of the start of the Indo Zambia Bank-sponsored Zambia Open Golf championship at the Lusaka Golf Club on Thursday.
The three-day tournament which has a lucrative prize fund of R1,1 million will be played over 72 holes.
Among the 11 Zimbabweans will be Ryan Cairns, Tongo Charamba, Brian Gondo, Tranos Muradzikwa and Nabeel Umerji, who qualified automatically for the tournament.
Michael Hough, Mohammad Mandhu, Dean Schoultz, Ignatius Mketekete and Philip Tshuma booked their places in the main field during last month’s prequalifying event held at E R P M Golf Club in Gauteng, South Africa.
Leading the Zimbabwean charge will no doubt be Cape Town-based Cairns whose confidence has been on a high since winning the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Simola Country Club recently.
Cairns is currently the highest ranked Zimbabwean golfer on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit rankings on number 57 after earning R115 830 from nine tournaments.
Mketekete, who won the pre-qualifier in South Africa last month, finished as the highest placed local golfer at last year’s Zambia Open after finishing in sixth-place.
Two-time Sunshine Tour winner Charamba finished in a tie for position 42 and the recently appointed Zimbabwe Professional Golfers’ Association President president will be hoping for a better performance this year.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s women golf team finished third behind South Africa and Zambia at the All-Africa Golf Challenge in Gaborone, Botswana, recently.
Zimbabwe carded 464 gross with the second-placed Zambians finishing on 452 gross while winners South Africa posted 428 gross.
The local women will be hoping for a better performance when they regroup for the next international tournament which they are hosting, the A and B Triangular and Zimbabwe Ladies’ Open from July
16-22 at Chapman Golf Club, Harare.