Zimbabwe’s top junior golfer Tafadzwa Nyamukondiwa has been selected to represent the country at the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship to be held at Biltmore Golf Course in Miami, Florida in the US.
By Freeman Makopa
The championships are scheduled to run from January 2-6. This is an annual tournament where best junior players are invited. The tournament provides a great opportunity for players to meet and network with American university coaches in their bid to secure scholarships.
Zimbabwe Junior Golf Association committee member Nesbet Chirewa told NewsDay Sport that they were in the process of raising money to send him to the championships.
“To acclimatise to his new environment, we would like to send him at least two weeks before the tournament so that he can participate in at least two tournaments before the main one. Therefore, we are looking at raising a total of US$7 000 which will cover his air ticket, accommodation and meals.
“This event will equip our guys with necessary skills and expose them to scouts, so we are really looking forward for the best display from them,” he said.
Nyamukondiwa started playing golf in August 2011 at Wingate Park Golf Club and later moved to join Chapman Golf Club where he has remained a member. At the age of 15 he captained Zimbabwe in the Tri-Nations tournament featuring Malawi and the host nation Zimbabwe subsequently triumphed. He went on to represent Zimbabwe in the All-Africa Golf Championship which Zimbabwe hosted in 2017 at Royal Harare Golf Club and Zimbabwe qualified for Japan after finishing second. He then represented Zimbabwe in Japan in Toyota World Golf Junior 2017.
He is currently ranked number one junior golfer in the country and second on the amateur National Order of merit. Some of his scores at tournaments he has played read; 2017 Elephant Hills Open (78,74,73,73), 2017 All Africa Junior Championship (78,75,75,71), 2018 National Aids Council Pro-Am (75,74,74), won the amateur tournament 2018 Rowland Park Open (72,67,71), came second in the Chapman Grand Slam (76,69,68) and Matabeleland Junior tournaments — Loxton Trophy (70,69).
Notable winners of the tournament include Tiger Woods (1991), the late Lewis Chitengwa Jnr (1992), Kevin Na (2000), Joaquin Niemann (2014). Each year Zimbabwe has managed to send at least one representative who has gone on to secure a university scholarship.