ZIMBABWE’S junior golfers edged closer to a spot at this year’s Toyota Junior World Cup after completing the second round of the All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge within striking distance of defending champions South Africa yesterday.BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The hosts will today start the third round just two shots adrift of South Africa despite a difficult day on the course, in which only two players in the 48-man field managed to go around the Royal Harare Golf Club layout under-par.
Team captain Justin Kersten, David Amm, Tafadzwa Nyamukondiwa and Thompson Masiya strengthened their title bid after combining for a five-over-par round of 221 for a two-day total of one-over-par 433.
Chapman Golf Club rising star Nyamukondiwa bounced back in style from a forgettable opening round with a one-under-par round of 71 to ensure the hosts remained within just two shots of South Africa, who lead the tournament on one-under-par 431.
Nyamukondiwa was well complemented by Amm, who chipped in with a one-over-par 73, while the duo of Kersten and Masiya both contributed rounds of five-over-par 77.
After opening the tournament with a sizzling five-under-par 67, Kersten’s struggles on the second day meant he lost the lead on the boys’ individual leaderboard to South African Luca Filippi, who followed up his 70 on the opening day with a solid 71.
Zimbabwe’s solid performance yesterday meant that they are now almost guaranteed of one of the two tickets available in the field for a place at the Junior Golf World Cup to be held in Japan later this year.
The hosts now enjoy a healthy 25-shot lead over third-placed Uganda, who for the second successive day combined for a 13-over-par 229 to head into the third round on a 26-over-par 458. Reunion Islands are a further two shots behind in fourth position on 28-over-par 260.
Meanwhile, in the girls’ competition Zimbabwe lost further ground to leaders South Africa, who put on another dominant performance to stretch their lead over the four-team field to 29 shots.
Simone Henriques carded the lowest round in the girls’ field, a level par 72, to inspire the South Africans to a two-day total of five-over par 293 which virtually secures them a place at the Junior Golf World Cup.