ZIMBABWE Open Golf Committee (ZOGC) secretary Mike Mahachi expects another star-studded field for this year’s edition of the country’s flagship golf tournament to be held at the picturesque Royal Harare Golf Club next month.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 2015 Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open will take place during the week of April 9-12 and Mahachi believes this will attract top ranked players as there will be no other tournaments on the other professional tours because of the year’s first major, The Masters.
The Masters field normally does not exceed 100 players, leaving the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open as a possible option for other professionals on the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours who would have failed to qualify.
“We are still in the process of finalising the programme and diary of events for the week with the sponsors and various stakeholders. However, I can confirm that championship will take place at Royal Harare Golf Club from April 9-12 at Royal Harare Golf Club and the prize fund is ZAR 1, 8 million,” Mahachi told NewsDay Sport yesterday.
“Entries on the Sunshine Tour are still open but we are expecting a strong field for this year’s Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open as there will be no other tournaments on the other tours such as the Asian Tour and the European Tour. The only tournament that will be taking place is The Masters,” he said.
While a quality field is expected for this year’s Zimbabwe Open, local golf fans will however have to wait longer before they can watch Brendon de Jonge in action on home soil.
“We had sent him (Brendon de Jonge) an invite but he has indicated that he has a very tight schedule and will not be able to attend this year’s event,” said Mahachi, who is also the tournament director.
The annual Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open, which is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour was successfully re-launched in 2010 after a nine-year hiatus due to lack of funding.
Two-time champion Jbe Kruger from South Africa will defend his title this year after winning his second Zimbabwe Open title at Royal Harare Golf Club last year to become the fourth South African in a row to win the tournament since its return in 2010.
Mark McNulty was the last Zimbabwean golfer to win the Zimbabwe Open in 2000.