The Zimbabwe Golf Association (ZGA) has announced two strong teams to represent Zimbabwe in the prestigious 2022 World Amateur Team Championships which tees off next week in France and next month’s All-Africa Golf Team Championship in Egypt.
Zimbabwe will be represented by the trio of Keegan Shutt, Rasheed Mohamed and Clifford Sibanda in the 32nd World Amateur Team Championship, to be played from August 31 to September 3 at Le Golf National in Paris, France.
In-form teenage golf sensation Shutt is set to be one of the youngest players in the competition at just 15 years of age.
The South Africa-based golf starlet has been enjoying an impressive season both on the local and international circuit and recently enhanced his status as one of the top juniors in the world after finishing in a tie for 12th position at the R&A Junior Open in Scotland last month.
Seasoned Chapman Golf Club amateur golfer Mohammed will captain the side. Mohamed is the highest ranked team member player on the World Amateur Golf Rankings while the equally experienced Sibanda who plays out of Harare Country Club has been enjoying a solid season on the domestic circuit.
Highly rated junior golfer Michael Wallace was also earmarked to make the squad but misses out due to commitments in the US.
Wallace is scheduled to compete in the Junior Players Championship Presented by Rolex at TPC Sawgrass – THE PLAYERS Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida from September 1 to 4.
The Zimbabwe team will be accompanied is being accompanied at the high-profile tournament which is commonly known as the Eisenhower Trophy by respected Hwange-based professional golfer and development coach Philip Tshuma.
ZGA president Martin Chikwana will be the head of delegation for the Zimbabwe team in France, where he is also scheduled to attend the 2022 International Golf Federation (IGF) Biennial Meeting will be held on Monday.
Zimbabwe will be one of the 72 nations batting out for honours in Paris.
ZGA president Chikwana said the three players who will represent the country in Paris had earned their places in the team by virtue of their positions on the World Amateur Golf Ranking which now forms part of the competition’s qualification criteria.
“The World Amateur Team Championship is the most prestigious amateur team competition in the world so we are actually quite happy that we have qualified. Unlike in years gone by when you needed just to register to compete in this competition, this year and onwards you had to qualify. The first 36 teams qualified by virtue of their position in the previous competition while the other 36 teams qualify by virtue of the rankings of their top two players on the World Amateur Golf Ranking,” he said.
Zimbabwe finished in a tie for 43rd at the previous edition of the competition held in Ireland four years ago.
Meanwhile Zimbabwe has also announced a relatively inexperienced team for the All Africa Golf Team Championship in Egypt from September 27 to 30.
Young Shutt will be joined by Clifford Muchenje, Tanaka Chatora and Munashe Ndaruza at the continental competition which has over the years been dominated by neighbours South Africa.
Ndaruza, who is currently the highest ranked player on the ZGA Order of Merit Standings will captain the team.
The biennial All Africa Golf Team Championship – considered Africa’s most prestigious amateur golf team event – is endorsed by The Royal & Ancient of St. Andrews (R&A) and the African Golf Confederation (AGC).
The 2022 edition will see the countries will battle it out once again in a 72-hole stroke play format with the best three scores counting towards the team total in each round at the El Gouna Golf course in Hurghada, Egypt.
The course, designed jointly by Gene Bates and Fred Couples, measures 6,269m off the championship tees and offers stunning panoramic views of the Red Sea mountains and turquoise waterways. The layout meanders through strategically placed bunkers, lagoons and desert flora.
South Africa won the inaugural biennial event in 2001 and consequently triumphed in Botswana (2003), Uganda (2005), Namibia (2007), Egypt (2011), Swaziland (2013), Kenya (2015) and Zimbabwe (2017).