Junior golfers in strong finish

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ZIMBABWE’S leading junior golfers put on a splendid team performance to overtake Brazil, Italy and China on the final day of the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup at the Ishino Course in Toyota City, Japan, yesterday.

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

After being bottom of the leaderboard for the first three rounds, Zimbabwe bounced back strongly with a final round 212 which lifted them three spots to 12th overall on 16-over-par 868.

Chapman Golf Club prodigy David Amm led Zimbabwe’s charge with 70, while Kieran Vincent and Justin Kersten posted identical scores of 71 to serve up the team’s best round of the week.

Vincent, who was Zimbabwe’s most consistent player throughout the tournament, was tied for 13th position on the individual leaderboard on three-under par 281, just a shot shy of a top-10 finish.

Yesterday’s performance saw Zimbabwe leapfrogging Brazil and Italy who finished tied for 13th on 17-over par and China who finished bottom of the leaderboard on 21-over par.

Tournament hosts Japan were crowned the overall champions after firing a tournament-best 13-under-par 200 to claim a four shot victory over Sweden on a winning total of 25-under-par 827.

Neighbours South Arica carded rounds of 210, 217, 211 and 213 to place eighth on one-under-par 851. Chile finished at 1-over to claim ninth place, ahead of New Zealand (+9) and Scotland (+13).

Zimbabwe coach Simon Murungweni, who travelled with the team to Japan, praised his charges after an impressive final round display.

“The boys played well today (yesterday). They have been hitting the ball very well all week and were just unlucky, but today everything just came together,” he said.

“We were happy because we were improving each day during the week and the fact that we managed to beat countries such as Italy, Brazil and China is a huge achievement because these teams qualified for the tournament through some tough competitions from their continents.”

The Royal Harare Golf Club-based teaching professional said the junior teams showing at the global showpiece proved Zimbabwe was beginning to catch up with other nations.

“It means our boys are up there with the rest of the world,” he said.

“However, it’s only the beginning and we have to continue working hard on our development programmes so that we have another strong team for next year’s tournament,” he said.