Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE junior golf team captain Justin Kersten is confident they will do well in the qualifying championships which get underway at Royal Harare this morning.The Bulawayo Golf Club member will lead a four-man team that has David Amm, Tafadzwa Nyamukondiwa and Thompson Masiya.
Zimbabwe will, for the first time, field two teams for both boys and girls as they try to qualify for the Toyota Junior golf championships in Japan in July.
Twelve countries will be aiming for the two slots reserved for Africa and they include record 19-time champions South Africa, Morocco, Namibia, Kenya, Tunisia, Reunion Islands, Mauritius, Zambia, Botswana, Uganda and Malawi.
Zimbabwe have won the tournament twice — in 1995 and 1998 — and will be expected to use home advantage to win a slot for the world championships.
Kersten said they have a competitive side.
“We are prepared and we have been in camp for two weeks and everyone is looking forward to the tournament.
“We are well aware of the threat of South Africa but we will give them a good run, most of the guys know each other well and some are our friends so we will not fear them.
“I think playing at Royal is good as it is not a new course to all of us and so I think that is going to give us an edge.
“This is a big tournament and everyone would like to do well and that drive will see us giving our best,’’ said Kersten.
The skipper will be representing the country for the first time as he was not part of the team that qualified last time.
That team had Jack Allard, Kieran Vincent, David Amm and Bekithemba Ndlovu.
Former Junior Sportsperson of the Year, Danielle Bekker, will lead the girls team that also has Emily Jones, Margaret Nyamukondiwa and Rumbidzai Chisango.
The girls team will contest with three other teams — South Africa, Kenya and Zambia. Bekker said she is ready to leave a mark at the tourney.
“I think we are prepared as a team, everyone is looking forward to the competition, we played nine holes today (yesterday) and the course is playing well.
“We have a good team of three, four, and seven handicaps, which gives us a good chance to do well.’’
Veteran golfers Rhoda Muridzo is the team coach while Roger Baylis will be in charge of the boys team.
Simon Chigorimbo is the team manager.