BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
SPONSORS of the FBC Zimbabwe Open have raised the stakes ahead of the tournament’s tee off at Royal Harare Golf Club and Chapman Golf Club this morning, putting up for grabs, two luxury sports utility vehicles in addition to the lucrative R2 million prize money.
A Land Rover Discovery 3.0 Diesel HSE Luxury vehicle will be won by the player who lands the first eagle on the par-four 18th hole at Royal Harare Golf Club throughout the four days.
The player who makes a hole in one on the par-three second hole at Royal Harare Golf Club will also go home driving a stylish Jaguar e-PACE Limited edition.
The two luxury vehicles are being provided by Premier Auto Services, who are the official partners of the FBC Zimbabwe Open Golf Championship.
Premier Auto Services are the authorised dealership for Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles in Zimbabwe.
The company’s sales manager Sylvester Muza told NewsDay Sport that they were pleased to add more excitement to the FBC Zimbabwe Open Golf Championship.
“We are quite excited about the return of the FBC Zimbabwe Open after four years and we are pleased to continue as the official partners of the event. This year we have put on the table two luxury vehicles which will be available for the player to make the first hole in one on the par-three second hole and an eagle on the 18th hole. This is all meant to add more excitement to this world-class event which always attracts some of the world’s leading golfers and we are all excited to be the official partners of the event,” Muza
The two cars on offer will add further intrigue to what is already a highly anticipated edition of the FBC Zimbabwe Open as world-class golf finally makes its return on our golf courses after a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The high profile tournament which is currently sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour is angling for elevation to become an event on the DP World Tour (formerly known as the European Tour) starting next year.
Thus this year’s tournament will be a dress rehearsal for next year’s big event.
A strong field of 160 golfers from around the world will tee off with two former winners Lyle Rowe and Jean Hugo, both from South Africa, headlining the event.
Zimbabwe will have their highest representation in the field of the prestigious competition since its return on the Sunshine Tour schedule in 2010, with 56 players in total which includes 40 professionals and 16 qualifying amateurs.
Among the local players who will be quietly confident of finally ending South Africa’s dominance of the tournament, are Robson Chinhoi, who has been enjoying tremendous success on the Safari Tour.
Rising star Benjamin Follet-Smith, who was the last Zimbabwean to win on the Sunshine Tour when he captured the Cape Town Open two years ago, will also be hoping to cause an upset as he slowly regains his mojo after a tough run of form.
Royal Harare Golf Club professional Ryan Cairns told NewsDay Sport that he was delighted with the tournament’s return.
“It’s great to have the Zim Open back on the schedule, it’s been so long and we have all been through so much and it’s great to see all the happy faces on the Sunshine Tour in Zimbabwe again. They all love to play golf at Royal Harare and now they’ll also get to experience Chapman,” Cairns said.
The affable golfer, who has won on the Sunshine Tour before said he would not be putting pressure on himself this year as he is targeting to enjoy the experience.
“My preparation has been great. I played some tournaments on the ZPGA just to handle on both golf courses and playing some tournament conditions and I have been playing pretty nicely,” he said.
“My attitude is pretty relaxed and expectations are not part of my game which I think was a bit of a downfall in the past so I’ll just go out there and play my game and I know what I can do and we will see where I end up at the end of the week,” he said.
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