Zambia Sugar Open organising team reaches KR3 million target
By Yvonne Sakala
THE Zambia Open Organising Committee (ZOOC) has said it is ready for next week’s event having managed to meet the targeted KR3 million to host Zambia Sugar Open Golf championship billed for the Lusaka Golf Club.
ZOOC vice-chairperson, Roy Penny said at a Press briefing at the Lusaka Golf Club yesterday that the committee was happy that it had raised the funds to run this year’s edition of the lucrative internationally acclaimed golf event scheduled for May 16-19.
Penny said last year’s main Zambia Open sponsors Indo-Zambia Bank would sponsor the first Pro-Am on Tuesday, May 14, while Airtel Consortium would sponsor the second Pro-Am event on Wednesday, May 15.
“We have raised the funds to host this year’s Zambia Sugar Open championship. Indo-Zambia Bank as the tournament sponsors will sponsor the first Pro-Am, while Airtel Consortium will sponsor the second one,” Penny said.
Penny said this year’s championship had attracted 144 golfers from nine countries across the globe with a horde of them from the South African Sunshine Tour, saying Zambia would be represented by 25 golfers, 10 amateurs and 15 professionals.
He said the PGA golfers would start arriving in the country on May 12 in readiness for the Pro-Am on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The prize money for the winner in the championship remained 1,920 Rands, the same amount as last year.
Penny said holes number nine, 10 and 11 had been sponsored with the golfer scoring a hole-in-one on any one of the named greens would walk away with a car.
The golfer, who sinks a hole-in-one on hole number nine will walk away with a Jaguar car worth US$20,000 (about KR108,000), while on hole number 10 the hole-in-one sinker will drive away with a Mitsubishi vehicle, courtesy of Southern Cross Motors.
Toyota Zambia has also staked a vehicle for the golfer who hits a hole-in-one on the 11th hole of 18-hole Lusaka Golf course which will be played over 73-holes during the Zambia Sugar Open championship.
Penny described the condition of the course as good, adding that in the past weeks, the Sunshine Tour inspectors came to inspect the facility and expressed satisfaction with the state of the course.
He said all the funds, expected to be paid to the Sunshine Tour, had been paid and that the Zambia Golf Union (ZGU) had received its allocation for the sanctioning of the championship.
The proceeds from the three-day championship would go towards the development of youth golf in the country.
Meanwhile, ZOOC communications officer, Nsama Mataka said this year’s competition had recorded the highest entries compared to last year, adding that there were no withdrawals from participating golfers, unlike last year.
Mataka said this year’s competition is expected to be high-level adding that defending champion Justin Harden is expected to defend his title and will later go to play in the British Open in July where he has qualified.
He said ZOOC had received Government support aimed at ensuring that the committee hosted a memorable event.
And golfer Michael Chiluba said he was looking forward to a good finish in the championship, saying he had been making good swings lately.
Chiluba, who had made two cuts in the last two years in the Sunshine Tour championship said his aim was not just to make a cut, but perform to the highest level.
Countries taking part in the Zambia Open championship include Botswana, Brazil,United States of America, South Africa, Kenya, Germany, England, Zimbabwe and host nation Zambia.