Zim Open rewards up to R1,65 million

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LOCAL sponsors have raised the bar once again by increasing the prize fund for the 2013 edition of the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open tournament which was unveiled by the organisers — the Zimbabwe Open Golf Committee — at a colourful ceremony yesterday.

REPORT BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

The fourth edition of the revived national open co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, will offer a richer purse of R 1, 65 million, up from last year’s R1, 5 million when it tees off at Royal Harare Golf Club from April 18-21.

The increase in the prize money will ensure that the premier event attracts some of the finest professional golfers on the continent and beyond.

Delta Beverages, through their Golden Pilsener brand have retained their place as the title sponsors for the event while new Tongaat Hullet Zimbabwe joins Zimplats and Innscor Africa as the associate sponsors.

“We as the Zimbabwe Open Committee are looking forward to yet another successful 2013 tournament. All indications at this moment show that the 2013 tournament will be bigger and better than the three tournaments that we have held in the past three years,” the Zimbabwe Open Committee chairman Livingston Gwata, whose committee also pledged to organise a tournament for the local professionals to prepare for the national open, said.

“In terms of our partners we have our title sponsors Delta through Golden Pilsener who are joined by two associate sponsors, namely Zimplats who are not new and the new sponsors Tongaat Hullet Zimbabwe.

“In addition to the two title sponsors and the associate sponsors, we have anchor sponsors who are supporting this tournament namely Jaguar Landrover, FBC Holdings, Innscor and South African Airways. Of course we do have many stakeholders such as our hosts Royal Harare Golf Club and the Zimbabwe Professional Golfers’ Association, the Zambezi Tour among others,” Gwata said.

Zimbabwe Open Committee secretary Mike Mahachi, who is also the tournament director, said the increase in the prize fund would ensure that the national open maintains its position as one of the richest tournaments on the continent.

“In comparison to other co-sanctioned events the Sunshine Tour and Sunshine Tour events, the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open ranks among the top five,” Mahachi added.

Entries for the tournament will open on March 1 and the organisers are expecting a total of 156 professionals from different tours around the world. Mahachi said they were expecting a lot of big names to enter the tourney as it will be held at a time when there are no key events in major tours such as the Asian Tour and the European tours.

Zimbabwe Professional Golfers Association president Tongo Charamba welcomed the corporate world’s continued support for the country’s biggest golf tournament.

“This is definitely a massive boost for us as local professionals. The Zimbabwe Open is one of the tournaments that we look forward to; if we could have a few more tournaments as the Zim Open on our local calendar it would be good for the local pros and local golf in general. Hopefully we will reach that level in the future,” Charamba added.