Malawi’s blossoming professional golfer Paul Chidale on Sunday finished third at the Tanzania Open at Kili Golf Club in Arusha, Tanzania.
He becomes the first Malawian professional golfer to achieve that feat.
After a slow start on Friday when he shot +7, nine shots behind eventual champion and experienced Dismas Indiza, who posted -2 gross 70, Chidale came with renewed purpose on the second day to gross 76 and, consequently, found himself in top five. He made the cut out of 38 golfers.
Chidale’s compatriot Adam Sailesi also made the cut which was on +15 and only 17 golfers made the grade.
On the final day, Chidale posted an outstanding level par gross 72 to earn himself the third slot in a tournament that attracted golfers from across the continent.
At the end, Indiza emerged triumphant with 70, 73, 78 while up-and-coming Kenyan golfer Justus Madoya was the runner-up (78, 74, 74) followed by Chidale (79, 76, 72).
In an interview yesterday, Chidale said he was delighted with the top-three finish.
“My target was to win this tournament, but finishing third isn’t that bad. It’s one step at a time I guess.
“I will not relax, but work even harder to put mother Malawi on the map,” he said.
Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Malawi president Patridge Shycal said they are proud and excited with Chidale’s feat.
“We are delighted that our own boy made it into the top three which was no mean achievement and that Sailesi made a cut,” he said.
Shycal also said they are indebted to Malawian Airlines who sponsored return air tickets for the two golfers.
“We pay tribute to our untiring supporter, our, true partner, Malawian Airlines.
“This partner has always been there for us and we are happy that we are now reaping the rewards.”
He also appealed to the corporate world, organisations and other well-wishers to sponsor local professional golfers.
Chidale, who has made six cuts since turning professional, started as an amateur in 2005 and rose to become arguably the best golfer on the domestic scene. He has played for the national team for almost a decade.