HomeSportGolfZimbabwe golfers eye South Africa Open berths

Zimbabwe golfers eye South Africa Open berths


A BIG contingent of 10 Zimbabwean professional and amateur golfers will try to earn berths for this week’s South Africa Open Championship as they tee off at the prestigious tournament’s pre-qualifiers to be held across three separate golf courses in Johannesburg and Pretoria today.

The 103rd edition of the South African Open Championship will tee off at Glendower Golf Course on Thursday with seasoned professional golfer Ryan Cairns being the only local player to automatically qualify for the world’s second oldest national Open.

The rest the local golfers who don’t automatically qualify for the event will join 361 other hopefuls as they fight it out for 15 spots on offer today.
The chosen battlegrounds for the pre-qualifying round today will be Kempton Park Golf Club, Irene Country Club in Johannesburg and Wingate Golf Club in Pretoria.

Zimbabwe’s biggest contingent will be at Kempton Park Golf Club where six local golfers namely Micky Hough, William Lake, Sean Farrell, Sheldon Steyn and amateur golfers Bradley Hudson and Grant Hudson will fight it out for a place in the main field on Thursday.

Three other local golfers namely Greg Bentley and siblings Mohammad and Kayyman Mandhu will battle it out at Irene Golf Club.

South Africa-based promising local amateur golfer Shingi Shumba will be the country’s lone representative at Wingate Golf Club in Pretoria.

While the 10 locals will go through the pre-qualifier, Cairns, who is the country’s second highest ranked professional golfer will have his main focus on the main event which tees off on Thursday.

Cairns will line up alongside a stellar cast of world stars in the opening event on the 2014 European Tour schedule, including 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen from South Africa, 2001 Open champion David Duval and world number three and defending champion Henrik Stenson from Sweden.

It will not be the first time Cairns challenges for the world’s second oldest Open title.

Last year Cairns had a decent run in the European Tour-co-sanctioned event, finishing a respectable 29th to walk away with R95,478.75.

With a history dating back to 1893, the SA Open Championship has long been held in high esteem on the continent.

This year’s record entry of nearly 600 players from 29 countries not only emphasises the standing and prestige of South Africa’s flagship on the international calendar, but truly elevates the world’s second oldest national Open to major status in Africa.

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