ZIMBABWE Golf Association (ZGA) has praised the national amateur golf team after its victory at the inaugural edition of the Africa Golf Confederation (AGC) President’s Cup in Kitwe, Zambia last Friday.
RECENTLY IN KITWE, ZAMBIA
The four-member team comprising of Tonderai Masunga, Thembelani Vundla, Visitor Mapwanya and Robson Chinhoi made the nation proud after they became the first country to lift the continental title held in honour of Zambian Joe Malanji’s election as Africa Golf Confederation President early this year.
The victorious Roger Baylis-coached side arrived in the country on Saturday evening with the winner’s trophy in the eight-nation team competition and the individual strokeplay title won by Mapwanya.
Zimbabwe finished the tournament top of the leaderboard after a combined score of 13-over-par 889 following four days of action, beating hosts Zambia by seven shots.
Kenya finished third with a gross score of 898, a runaway 27 strokes ahead of fourth-placed Namibia.
Malawi settled for fifth position on 933, three shots better than Tanzania while Uganda and Nigeria finished on 939 and 1 049 to take the seventh and eighth places, respectively.
The Zimbabwe team capped a successful week by also winning the individual title where Mapwanya finished on one-over-par 293 after 72 holes.
Mapwanya, who got the longest drive prize at the 2014 Zone Six Championship in South Africa in April, was a stroke ahead of compatriot Vundla.
Kenya’s Nelson Simwa finished third on five-over-par 297.
ZGA vice-president Tavenganiswa Mabikacheche, who was the head of delegation during the tournament in Zambia congratulated the team for lifting the country’s flag high.
“The fact that it was an inaugural tournament and Zimbabwe becomes the first country to win is a big achievement for the country.
“Obviously the competition could have been more intense if South Africa had taken part. The South Africans have always dominated regional tournaments and given their absence this time we were under pressure to win and we are happy the boys delivered,” he said.
“The only disappointment was that we could not win by a big margin as the team did not play well in the last two days of the competition. The players scores were not reflective of their ability with the exception of Visitor Mapwanya.”
Mabikacheche singled out Mapwanya for praise because of his consistency throughout the competition which saw the 23-year-old golfer being crowned the individual champion.
“Visitor really stood out and his consistency throughout the competition was very crucial for the team. He went into the tournament with a very high reputation after winning the longest drive competition at the Zone VI Games. I’m sure all who saw him in Zambia will understand why he is now being called the longest hitting amateur in Africa,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zambia were confirmed as the hosts for the second edition of the AGC President’s Cup.
Ambassador Malanji, said the was confident Zambia would host a bigger tournament next year.
After a number of countries including Turkey and China pulled out of this year’s competition due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa more countries are expected to grace next year’s edition of the continental competition.
A total of 31 players from eight countries participated in this year’s championship in Kitwe.