HARARE – Zimbabwe’s junior golf teams are aiming for a top finish at the Africa Junior Golf Championship as they bid to secure passage to the Toyota World Junior Golf Challenge in Japan.
The tournament tees off this morning at Royal Harare Golf Club with at least 12 national teams from across the continent battling to be part of the two teams representing Africa in Japan.
This year marks the first time that the boys and girls’ tournaments will be played simultaneously with Zimbabwe’s fledgling teenage golfers hopeful of finally ending South Africa’s dominance.
South Africa are 19-time champions with Zimbabwe having won the tournament twice, in 1995 and 1998.
“We are looking forward to it and we are actually more confident than we have been in the previous tournaments,” Zimbabwe boys’ captain Justin Kersten said.
“We have had some good team practices. Obviously, we are up against some stiff competition but we are at home and there is no excuse for us to play badly. We just gonna go out and give our best shot and see what happens.
“We have been practising here (at Royal Harare Golf Club) like everyday so we know the course back to front really so I think we are ready.
“It’s a special thing we are looking forward to I have been fortunate to be there for three times. It’s a great tournament and we are looking forward to be there again. It really opens your eyes on what the level of golf is around the world and if we can qualify that will be fantastic.
“Fortunately, we know the guys pretty well, they are good players and we have the capability, anything can happen, we can beat them and they beat us and we will have to take it one step at a time.
Zimbabwe girl’s team captain Danille Bekker was equally confident of their chances of coming tops.
“I think I am well prepared and I have practised a lot in South Africa,” Bekker, who is the reigning Zimbabwe Junior Sportsperson of the year, said.
“I think we are going to play well. We have a good team; three, four and seven handicap and they are good players who have played in competitions and I think this is a big competition.
“We have practised here, we played nine holes and the greens are very fast and we hope to have a good time.
“South Africa have good players and we are also so we will see the results.”
BancABC are the main sponsors of this year’s tournament while several companies from across the corporate divide have also partnered the golf tournament.
Zimbabwe will be joined by record 19-time champions South Africa, Morocco, Namibia, Kenya, Tunisia, Reunion Islands, Mauritius, Zambia, Botswana, Uganda and Malawi.