Kersten seeks successful title defence

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ONE of the country’s leading junior golfers, Justin Kersten, is expecting a tough challenge as he seeks to launch a successful title defence at the Matabeleland Amateur Championship which gets underway at Harry Allen Golf Club in Bulawayo today.

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

Kersten, who was recently included in Zimbabwe’s squad for the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup, headlines a strong field of over 50 amateur golfers, who will hoping to earn both national and world amateur golf ranking points on offer.

The Matabeleland Amateur tourney will be a 72-hole strokeplay contest with the players completing 36 holes today before concluding their campaign with a further 36 holes tomorrow.

While Kersten appears to be the man to beat after winning the same tournament last year, he refused to put himself under pressure.

“I’m not really expecting miracles to happen for me, but I just hope I can put four decent rounds together over the weekend,” the Falcon College Lower Six student said in an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday.

“I think the scores will be relatively low as the fields in these tournaments are always very competitive.

“The winner this weekend will definitely have to play well, and ultimately the player who makes the least mistakes will come out on top. I’m just hoping I can keep a cool head, stay focused and do my best to defend the title,” he said.

Kersten won last year’s edition of the Matabeleland Amateur Championship after rallying to a three stroke victory over Tonderai Masunga while Gary Thompson, who has since joined the paid ranks, finished third.

A good finish or a successful title defence at Harry Allen GC will also strengthen his position on the Zimbabwe Golf Association Order of Merit Standings.

Another player to watch this weekend is national junior golf team captain Jake Allard, who has been enjoying a stellar season on both the junior and the amateur circuits.

Allard is coming off another solid weekend in Zvishavane where he finished second behind Stuart Krog at the Roland Park Open. Krog will not feature in this weekend’s tournament.

Some of the players to look out for this weekend include national team juniors Bekithemba Ndlovu Kieran Vincent and David Amm.

Meanwhile, the annual Commander Defence Forces Fundraising Golf Day will be held at The Brooke Golf Club today.

This year’s event is aimed at raising funds for Musha Mukadzi Zimbabwe Armed Forces Foundation, an organisation that specialises in cancer prevention and awareness campaigns, as well as assisting those affected by the diseases.

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