By FELIX MALUNGA –
NKANA’S Jackson Simukonda at the weekend claimed his first major title after beating local favourite Charles Chibale in a play-off to win the 2015 Invesco Ndola Open Championship.
This was Simukonda’s maiden win of one of the major Zambia Golf Union (ZGU) Order of Merit tournament.
Simukonda and Chibale both finished on six-over-par 152 after 36 holes of action at Ndola Golf Club, forcing the tournament organisers to call for a three-hole play-off to break the tie.
The Kitwe golfer, a graduate from the junior ranks, won the title on the 17th where he made a par while the Ndola player bogeyed this par-three hole.
On the day when all top players performed poorly, Chainama Hills’ Peter Munyinya tied for third with fellow national team player, Gabriel Chibale of Ndola on seven-over-par 153.
Another top amateur, Aaron Simfukwe Junior of Chilanga fell off the pace for the championship when he double bogeyed the last two holes to tie for fifth with Kabwe’s Denmark Mulambo on 155.
Kelly Tembo of Kabwe and Nkana’s Matengele Kaira were two strokes back to finish joint seventh with Sydney Wemba of Chainama hot the heels on 158 gross while Lusaka’s Collins Musonda completed the top 10 on a woeful 14-over-par 160.
During prize presentation, ZGU vice-president north, Moses Chitoshi said the union had written invitation letters to clubs wishing to host the 2016 Zambia Open Golf Championship.
Chitoshi said the criteria to pick the hosts for the prestigious event would depend on club management and the capacity by a golf club to find a title sponsor.
Nkana Golf Club in Kitwe has hosted the last two editions of the Zambia Open while Lusaka Golf Club is still hosting the Zambia Sugar Open.
Chitoshi also advised all affiliate clubs to consult ZGU on all issues relating to land to avoid a recurrence of what transpired at Livingstone Golf Club where a lease agreement with a developer had driven the club into the ‘ground’.
He also told gathering that the union was concerned with the conduct of some affiliates during an elective ZGU annual general meeting when it comes to proxy votes.
The ZGU vice-president said the union would give out guidelines on proxy votes because in the past this had been abused.