Mohammad Rauf Mandhu may not have done enough to challenge the top players at the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at Sishen recently, but his final score gives a lot of hope.
He finished among the top 30.
Mark Williams, Ryan Cairns and Greg Bentley were all part of the tournament.
It has not been easy for the Zimbabwean golfers playing against the top South African golfers in the Sunshine Tour this year.
But they always put a shift.
Mandhu managed 71, 71, 76 for a tournament +2, not the kind of performance needed to win a tournament, but a good learning curve against some of the best in what was a difficult course.
Instead it was Hennie du Plessis who clinched the title. He did it after by defeating Ockie Strydom on the fourth play-off hole.
And what he said after his win is the mark of a player who could scale greater heights, considering that he achieved this on his 21st birthday.
“This is awesome. I couldn’t ask for a better way of doing it than a play-off. I mean, it really shows how much you have worked. You could see my expression on the last hole, how much it means to me. It’s a good birthday present to win a tournament,” Du Plessis was quoted by Sunshine Tour as saying.
“The first time, I think, was a little bit worse than the other times. I mean, I knew exactly what to hit every time so it was sort of repeating whatever you’re doing. But yeah, the first one was very nerve-wracking because you make a mistake, you’re losing the tournament.”
Meanwhile, Special Olympics Zimbabwe could not have selected a better sporting event to drive their mission than golf.
“Special Olympics provides a platform for athletes with Intellectual disability to showcase their abilities on the sporting arena and this builds their confidence and spurs them on to excellence in their social engagements thereby affording them an opportunity to integrate well within communities.”
They said this ahead of a golf tournament at Chapman Golf club this week.
“This new initiative is geared towards ensuring that Special Olympics Athletes perform at their best by connecting fitness to sport performance. Athletes are assisted to complete a competition readiness assessment and are provided with the requisite items and guidance for optimal sport performance.”
There is no doubt golf helps build confidence.
Golf Made Easy have often tried to explain why the first hole always gives most players — leisure and professionals — “First Tee Jitters”.
“It doesn’t matter if you are playing with your best friend or with three people you have never met before. The anxiety that flows through your body while on the tee box causes many golfers to make unreliable golf swings that often result in a substandard tee shot that sets the tone for more of the same on your next 17 holes,” they noted.
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