The Zimbabwe junior girls’ golf team underlined their growing status, as a rising force on the continent after finishing second at the prestigious All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge played at the par 72 Royal Dar es Salaam course in Rabat, Morocco at the weekend.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Zimbabwe, who were represented by Emily Jones, Danielle Bekker and Margaret Nyamukondiwa put on a spirited performance after a slow start to claim the runners up spot in the girls’ competition behind powerhouses, South Africa.
The trio combined for a four-round total of 686 in tough scoring conditions to deny the host union Morocco by four shots in the girls’ team competition, which featured eight countries.
Zimbabwe’s success was made sweeter by the fact that they were fielding one of the youngest teams in the girls competition, as the team had an average age of just 15 years.
South Africa, who were represented by Kajal Mistry, Caitlyn Macnab and Symone Henriques, successfully defended their title, with an overall score of 622 to claim the sole ticket to the 2018 Toyota Junior World Cup in Japan.
The South Africans also enjoyed one-two-three finish in the individual competition with Mistry successfully defending the title she won at Royal Harare Golf Club last year, with a winning score of 307.
Jones, who last year won the Zimbabwe Ladies Open, was the highest place Zimbabwean on the individual leader-board after carding scores 90, 84, 80 and 81 to finish fourth on a 72-hole total of 335.
Jones, was 16 hopes ahead of compatriot and friend, Bekker, who finished fifth on a total of 351 after carding 95, 83, 85 and 88 during the tournament while Nyamukondiwa (95, 87, 92, and 93) finished 10th in the field of 24 players.
Meanwhile, in the boys’ competition, Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup for the first time in five years after finishing fifth out of 13 participating nations in Morocco.
Zimbabwe fielded a largely new look team with Tafadzwa Nyamukondiwa the only player to have featured in the continental competition before while the trio of William Geach, Dylan Mangabhai and Keith Phiri were making their debuts in the All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge.