BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ZIMBABWE junior golf team star Margret Nyamukondiwa celebrated the biggest win of her fledgling career after winning the National Aids Council (Nac)-sponsored Zimbabwe Ladies Golf Union (ZLGU) Open Strokeplay Championship at Royal Harare Golf Club on Sunday.
The win capped off what has been an incredible rise by Nyamukondiwa, who made history six years ago by becoming the youngest player to represent the national ladies golf team at senior level after featuring in the A and B Triangular Ladies golf tournament at the age of 10.
Reflecting on her victory on Sunday, Nyamukondiwa who is a student at The Heritage School, said her brother’s success had motivated her to become better. Her 21-year-old brother Tafadzwa is one of the country’s brightest prospects and currently on a golf scholarship at the University of Drexel in the United States.
“The fact that my brother is in the US on a scholarship because of golf pushes me to become better than him. I am happy with the win. At first it didn’t really sink in that I had won, but I am very excited,” an elated Nyamukondiwa said.
She also spoke of her golfing journey which started at Wingate Golf Club in 2012 at the age of eight before moving to Chapman where she has grown in stature.
“It all started when I was at Wingate and hitting shanks and then I moved to Chapman and became a full member. Ever since then, I have improved as a golfer. Firstly, I put golf first before everything and God helps me through all, that is golf, school and family. Anything is possible and long as you put your mind and God into it,” she said.
Nyamukondiwa, who celebrated her 18th birthday on August 17, secured her win after winning a playoff against her national team teammate Danielle Bekker in a battle between the country’s top female junior golfers.
The gifted pair which has represented the country in countless regional and continental tournaments over the past few years could not be separated after the 54-holes, finishing tied at the top of the leaderboard on a gross of 230 over the three days.
Nyamukondiwa carded identical rounds of 77 in the opening two rounds before closing with a 76 in the final round. The solid final round ensured she finished tied with the pre-tournament favourite Bekker, who carded rounds of 75, 78 and 77 on her home course.
In the end, it was Nyamukondiwa who held her nerve during the playoff which was played over three holes to claim the coveted title while Bekker settled for second position.
Meanwhile, Royal Harare Golf Club-based Shamiso Qiang finished third on a 54-hole on a gross total of 245, two shots clear of her club mate Primrose Chikwiya and Chapman Golf Club veteran player Loice Chingono , who finished in a two-way tie for fourth position.
Former national team player Aulia Alfazema completed the top six in the championship division on a gross of 248. A total of 17 players played in the Championship Division of the ZLGU Open Strokeplay Championship which in total featured at total of 90 players from around the country’s 10 provinces.
The A Division title was won by Beki Pasi after winning the play off against Thoko Sibanda, they both shot 271 over 3 days.
The B Division winner was Shantel Mareya on score of 189 over two days while the C Division winner was F Bangure on a score of 199 over two day while seniors winner was Aulia Alfazema.