When actor Rob Lowe hit a state bird in mid-air in 2015, it was an unlikely occurrence at a celebrity golf game. “That’s my birdie,” he was quoted as saying. And players in his group were in stitches.
The bird was just a finch, not the biggest of targets in mid air. It could have been understandable if it were a dove. Probability of a golf shot hitting such a bigger bird will still be lower at Elephant Hills Golf Club come October at the All Africa Golf Championships.
Thanks to Doves. They are bringing on board only the Assurance company and not birds as it were. The Zimbabwe Golf Association fundraising committee has already indicated Doves pledged sponsorship along with other companies.
The hope is more corporates that have pledged will fulfil their promises as the fundraising committee continues with the good work for what is a prestigious event. While the fundraising initiatives continue, players have at least four amateur tournaments to collect points from and improve chances of making the team.
This weekend, some of the top amateurs tee off at Wingate, at the Harare Amateur, one of the tournaments that contribute points towards World Amateur Events and towards national rankings.
It is played over four rounds (72 holes) and participants are more lower handicapped players with most aspiring to end in the professional circuit, which is also the main thrust of the championships in Victoria falls starting from 8-14 October. After the Harare Amateur, focus will turn to the Zimbabwe Amateur in Bulawayo, Bata Power Open in Gweru and then the Hillside Masters in Mutare.
And then focus will be on the team of four for the championships, with a record participation from member countries expected. Meanwhile, Doug McGuigan won the 54-hole R750 000 Vodacom Origins of Golf at Highland Gate Golf and Troute Estate.
It wasn’t a stage Zimbabweans Greg Bentley and Mark Williams were expected to do wonders, but it was good enough they were there. Winner McGuign did well to keep focused; bringing his “A” game in what was a difficult tournament, with the player admitting he had a lot at the back of his mind.
“Personally, I’ve had a hard time over the last year, losing my brother and stuff, so to do this is fantastic. I’ve started believing again,” he was quoted as saying by Sunshine Tour.
After the Vodacom Origins of Golf, focus was on the Sun City challenge at the Gary Player Country Club. Zimbabwe top professional golfer Ryan Cairns and Marc Cayeux did not start the first round too well for a tournament which was set from August 2-4.
Jake Roos, who carded an impressive opening round six-under-par 66, said it is funny how when “you start to get going a little bit, you can start getting a bit of momentum”.
After the Sun City Challenge, focus will turn to the Sun Carnival City Challenge this coming weekend.
ZGA 2017 Tournaments and Venues
4-6 August Harare Amateur Harare Wingate
11-14 August Zimbabwe Amateur Bulawayo TBA
25-27 August Bata Power Open Gweru GGC
16-17 Sept Hillside Masters Mutare Hillside
10-12 Nov Hwange Open Hwange Hwange
17-19 Novr Platinum Golf Classic Norton NCC
1-3 December Zimmatchplay Harare Chapman