Ignatius Mketekete rolled back the years by putting on a dominant show to win the inaugural edition of the Maxi Bulawayo Pro-Am Golf Tournament by a massive eight shots at Bulawayo Golf Club on Saturday.
The 37-year-old Zvishavane-born professional golfer, who now plays out of Bulawayo Golf Club was in a class of his own in the star-studded field which featured some of the country’s leading pros and a few foreign players.
He carded identical rounds of 67 in the opening two round before closing with a 71 for a tournament total of 11 under-par 205 to finish eight strokes clear of another Bulawayo Golf Club golfer Brian Gondo and Zambian Sydney Wemba who were tied for second on three under-par 213.
Mketekete, who has previously featured on the Sunshine Tour said despite his big winning margin, it was not all smooth sailing as he had to be at his best throughout the tournament.
“It was not all smooth sailing, but because of the hard work and a consistent swing, I was able to hold onto my lead. The final round was a little difficult and I dropped too many shots, but I managed to get back into my groove in the last four holes,” Mteketeke said.
Gondo, who was also the tournament director carded 70 and 73 before closing with a steady 70 on the final day.
He was pleased with the huge turnout due to the sponsorship by Arenel and the quality of golf displayed by the participants.
“As the Bulawayo golfing community, we are grateful to Arenel for this tournament and as a pro golfer I am excited at the level of competition that was exhibited by the golfers who participated,” Gondo said.
Chapman Golf Club pro Nyasha Muyambo was fourth after carding 72 in the final round for a gross of 215, three shots clear of fifth-placed Promise Sombreiro, who carded 74 in final round for a 218 gross.
South African Ricky Hendler finished joint 8th after a nightmare final round. Hendler carded 78 having hit 72 and 70 in the first two rounds. Robson Chinoi, who was among the favourites, came 10th after finishing one over in the final round. Chinoi grossed 221 having scored 72 and 76 in the first two rounds.
The tournament had a national feel to it with golfers from across the country taking part. Hwange was represented by pro Steven Simukai who grossed 226 to finish 28th and amateur, Tangisai Kasere who both acquitted themselves well on the difficult BGC course.
Leaderboard (Top 15 including ties)
- I. Mketekete 67; 67; 71 (205)
T2. B Gondo 70; 73; 70 (213)
T2. S. Wemba 72; 72; 69 (213)
- N. Muyambo 69; 74; 72 (215)
- P. Sombreiro 70; 73; 74 (216)
- M. Wettergreen 70; 74; 74 (218)
7.V. Mapwanya 71; 78; 70 (219)
- R. Hendler 72; 70; 78 (220)
- S. Katembenuka 73; 74; 74 (220)
T10. R. Chinoi 72; 76; 73 (221)
T10. P Chidale 74; 77; 70 (221)
T12. V. Kachepatsonga 73; 77; 72 (222)
T12. W. Lake 76; 74; 72 (222)
T12. D Elijah 72; 74; 76 (222)
T15. J Allard 73, 75, 75 (223)
T15. R.Saurombe 76; 74;73 (223)
T15. T. Masunga 73; 79; 71 (223)
T15. T Vundla 76; 76; 71 (223)
T 15. P. Sambo 76; 75; 72 (223)
T15. S. Krog 77; 75; 71 (223)