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BY Kevin Mapasure
ZGA president Gary Thompson described the Zimbabwe Open as one of the best tournaments in the Sunshine Tour, which attracts top golfers and he said for five locals to make the cut, it was a worthy achievement.
Royal Harare Golf Club professional Ryan Cairns was the highest-placed Zimbabwean on the leader-board after carding his third consecutive 70 for a tournament total of six-under-par.
Mark Williams was a shot back on five-under after rebounding from a 74 on Saturday to card a two-under-70 yesterday while Robson Chinhoi was two shots back on three-under in a tie for 38.
The duo of Marc Cayeux and Trainos Muradzikwa finished in a tie for 43 on one-under par for the tournament
Thompson said that for the local golfers he was pleased with the performance of Robson Chinhoyi who started off as a caddie and from a difficult background to rise and put up a good act at the Zimbabwe Open.
“I must congratulate everyone for putting up such a good tournament, the Zimbabwe Open is one of the best tournaments in the Sunshine Tour and top professionals enjoy coming here,” Thompson said. “I think the big story of this tournament is Robson Chinhoyi who started off as a caddie and for him to rise from obscurity to finish three under, it was phenomenal. He came from a difficult background, but he started getting sponsorship when he was a young kid and he is not playing at such a high level. I think as Zimbabwe this is what we should be looking at. We have a new crop of golfers that are coming through who need to get sponsorship and support so that they get more tournament experience, because that’s what they are lacking now. I am also proud of Trainos Muradzikwa, he is just a small guy but he does a lot.”
Zimbabwe had 30 entries in the tournament, where in the end five made the cut.
The tournament, as was expected was dominated by South Africans, with Daniel van Tonder, Peter Karmis, Christiaan Basson and Justin Harding, all claiming places in the top five as did JC Ritchie who was tied with Englishman Steven Surry.