Wallace finishes strong in Junior Orange Bowl Championship

Michael Wallace

Zimbabwean junior golfer Michael Wallace enjoyed a solid finish to his campaign at the Junior Orange Bowl Championship on Thursday after carding a two-over 73 in the final round to finish in a tie for 38th at Biltmore Golf Course in Florida.

Wallace, who is based at the Balderstone Sports Institute in Johannesburg, is one of only two Zimbabwean golfers who took part in the tournament together with Matthew Bramford.

Bramford, former student at Peterhouse in Marondera also recently moved to South Africa, where he has been honing his golfing skills at the KeNako Golf & Sports Academy in George.

A field of 60 players from around the world took part in the prestigious Junior Orange Bowl Championship played annually in the USA.

Wallace recovered from a difficult opening round of 79 to post better scorers (76, 74 and 71) in each of his last three rounds to finish 38th with Ali Berker from Turkey.

His compatriot Bramford got his campaign off to an impressive start after carding a one-under 71 in the opening round which vaulted him inside the top 10 on the leaderboard.

The 18 year-old national junior team player however found the going tough in the next two rounds where he posted identical scores of 79 to fell out of contention.

He still managed to show incredible fighting spirit to close with a decent round of 74 which meant he secured 40th place on the leaderboard alongside Puerto Rico’s Gustavo Belardo and American   Carson Wright.

Meanwhile, USA’s Nicholas Prieto shot a scintillating final-round 6-under 65 to rally for first place overall on an impressive tournament total of eight-under 276.

The Junior Orange Bowl Championship is one of the world’s most prestigious junior golf events and sees the top juniors from around the world competing for the trophy.

The tournament has been a stepping stone for many of today’s golfing professionals, including Tiger Woods, who won it in 1991.

Other notable players to compete in the event include Bubba Watson, Jose-Maria Olazabal, Lexi Thompson, and 1999 winner Camillo Villegas.

The late Zimbabwe golf sensation Lewis Chitengwa Jr. won the tournament in 1992 after famously beating arguably the future greatest of all time Tiger Woods.


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