BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
HIGHLY-rated Zimbabwe-born professional golfer Sean Crocker will add some international flavour to the returning Zimbabwe Open golf tournament after confirming his availability for the tournament scheduled for April 2 to 5 at Royal Harare Golf Club.
The country’s flagship golf tournament is set to make a return to the Sunshine Tour schedule this year after being cancelled last year due to lack of clarity over the official foreign currency exchange rate policy prior to the introduction of a formal inter-bank market.
The imminent return of the prestigious tournament has already sparked interest from some of the world’s top golfers with the 23-year-old Crocker expected to be one of the players to give South African golfers a good run for their money at this years’ tournament.
Crocker, who was born in Zimbabwe before moving to the United States at the age of five currently competes on the European Tour under the American flag, but remains proud of his Zimbabwean roots and returns to the country regularly to reconnect with friends and family.
The player’s father, who is a former Zimbabwe international cricketer Gary Crocker, confirmed that his son is set to feature in the Zimbabwe Open should the tournament not be affected by the coronavirus pandemic which has led to cancellations of major sporting events around the world.
“Sean will be playing in the Zim open next month if all goes well and coronavirus doesn’t cause the Sunshine Tour to cancel. I spoke to the tournament director Mr (Mike) Mahachi yesterday and he confirmed that Sean will get an exemption/invite. Sean is very excited to return home and play in Zimbabwe again,” Crocker Snr told NewsDaySport yesterday.
Crocker was only 16 when he charmed local golf in the 2013 Zimbabwe Open, and went on to finish the top placed amateur in the field after carding rounds of 69, 74, 72 and 73 for a total level-par of 288.
The young star has continued to live up to the early hype and is already making a big impression after earning his European Tour card two years ago and will be eager to do well on his return.
South African golfer Bryce Easton, who fired a bogey free nine under-par 63 for a tournament total of 16-under, is the defending champion of the prestigious tournament after winning the 2018 edition, becoming the ninth successive South African to win the country’s flagship golf tournament.