The Manicaland Amateur golf championship is set to tee off this morning with more than 40 men and women golfers taking part at Hillside Golf Club in Mutare.

This year’s edition of the World Amateur Golf Ranking will run concurrently with the Manicaland Ladies Amatuer Strokeplay which explains the big field that entered the draw.

Defending champion Michael Wallace, who is also the reigning Zimbabwe Amateur champion, will be looking to retain his Manicaland title.

But will have to contend with some of the top amateur golfers such as Vincent Chidambazina who scooped the Hillside Masters last month as well as Lloyd Dube, Kelvin Muchenje and Elton Zulu who have already won on the amateur circuit this year.

British Open-bound Braydon Amm is also one to watch on home turf.

“Manicaland Amateur starts on Saturday [today] and is coinciding with the ladies’ Manicaland Strokeplay and we are expecting an upward of 60 golfers combined. Everything is going according to script so far so good though our plea is for the Manicaland business community to come to the party and support the tournament. This will add impetus to the players to do well and it will also lighten the event and there are many benefits associated with sponsoring or supporting golf,” Zimbabwe Golf administrator Tirivashe Nheweyembwa said.

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“The Manicaland Amateur is important in that it is registered on the World Amateur Golf Ranking and our players will gain points by playing this tournament.

“It is also an opportunity for the players to showcase their golfing skills to the world through this platform.”

The ladies category will see stiff competition with some of the country’s top prospects such as Danielle Bekker and Margaret Nyamukondiwa taking part.

Veteran golfer Batsirai Tilowakuti will also be eyeing the Ladies Strokeplay.