ZIMBABWE’S leading junior golfer Stuart Krog will be hoping for a strong finish to what has been a successful year for him when he takes part at the 51st Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship in the United States later this week.
Krog together with another rising junior golfer Kieran Vincent will represent the country at the prestigious tournament which takes place from Friday to next Tuesday at the Baltimore Golf Course in Florida.
The two teenage stars earned the right to represent Zimbabwe after finishing first and second respectively on the Zimbabwe Junior Golfers’ Association (ZJGA) Order of Merit standings for 2014.
18-year-old Krog, who is a student at St Georges College, is making his second appearance at the Junior Orange Bowl after finishing in a tie for 17th position last year.
After completing a remarkable season in which he topped the Order of Merit Standings in both the juniors and the amateur ranks, Krog said he was hoping to use the experience he gained last year to challenge for the title.
“Last year was a great experience and I was happy with my result. It was tough last year not knowing what I was travelling to and what to feel after my first long haul flight. I have travelled a lot more in the last year and have come to grips on that part of the game,” Krog said.
“I also know what the golf course is like and the type of shots that you have to pull off there, so I have been focusing and practicing hard on those shots. This year I am expecting to be in contention and I hope to feed off the positive energy as a result from last year’s performance and hopefully create some new memorable memories,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s best performance at the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship came in 1993 when the late Lewis Chitengwa won the coveted title after a three-shot victory over Tiger Woods.
Ben Follet-Smith, who is now playing college golf in the US also fared well at the same tournament in 2012, finishing an impressive fourth.
Meanwhile 17 year-old Vincent who is a student at St John’s College said he was looking forward to gaining some valuable experience during the tournament.
“I really feel honoured to represent this fine nation. My expectations aren’t really of the highest level but, I really want to just go out there and play to the best of my ability and hopefully the results will speak for themselves. For me this tournament is mainly a learning curve and a stepping stone for the future,” said Kieran, whose older brother Scott finished 11th at the same tournament in the 2009.