Zimbabwe’s leading male amateur golfers have begun preparations for the upcoming Region Five Golf Championships, which tee off in Namibia early next month.
Seasoned golfers Clever Lazarus, Tafara Mpofu, Tafadzwa Nyamukondiwa, Gramy Lewis and Morton Kombayi, will represent the country at the 25th edition of one of Africa’s premier amateur golf events from April 7-19 in Swanepoel.
Team Zimbabwe is preparing at Chapman Golf Club, the Zimbabwe Gold Association (ZGA) has confirmed.
Formerly the Zone VI Championships, the bi-annual tournament will be played over five rounds of golf, with the first 18-hole round being a stroke play to determine the country’s ranking.
ZGA golf development officer, Boniface Chigorimbo, said they were looking forward to a competitive tournament hoping the team will do well this time around under Zimbabwe stand-in coach William Lake.
“We are hoping the selected golfers will play their best golf. We picked five leading golfers but one will be dropped. They have been picked based on the order of merit as our leading amateur golfers.
“Training began this week at Chapman Golf Club. High expectations are part and parcel of the team to represent us in Namibia,” he said.
“We are extremely excited at the depth and experience of our three selected players. They have all earned their spots with consistently strong performances and excellent results in the past 12 months and we are confident in their ability to compete at the highest level.”
The tournament, which has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception in 1995, will see more than seven countries participating.
Zimbabwe will be seeking to upstage continental giants South Africa, who have consistently dominated the tournament, wining 18 times along the way.
However, Zimbabwe are banking on the reigning winner of the 2019 ZGA tournament, Mpofu, while Nyamukondiwa’s recent form at three international tournaments in the United States last year, which made him a prime target for reputable American collegiate golf coaches, will be participating for the second consecutive year at the Region Five tourney.
He has also gone from strength to strength and enjoyed a rapid rise in the rankings.
The experience of seasoned golfer Lazarus, who is also the ZGA secretary general, will also add value at the bi-annual tournament.
Debutant, Lewis is one of the most exciting prospects ahead of the event.
“The players have a very good track record in previous tournaments. We know this quartet will do everything they can to win,” added Chigorimbo.
Zimbabwe hosted and came second in the 2018 tournament, which attracted seven countries Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe junior golf team is in Botswana for the All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge Trophy under veteran Coaches Simon Chigorimba and Rhoda Muridzo.
Winners and runners-up qualify for the prestigious Toyota Junior Golf World Cup will compete against the cream of global junior golf in Japan later this year.
April will be an action-packed month for local golf as Zimbabwe will also host the Zimbabwe Open, which will be held from April 15-21 at the picturesque Royal Harare Golf Club.