Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Francis Kasaila teed off the three-day Warm Heart Pro-Golf Tour at the Lilongwe Golf (LGC) yesterday.
Golfers from across the continent have gathered at the LGC to fight for $50 000 (K37m) in prize money courtesy of Professional Golfers Association (PGA Malawi).
Kasaila has since wished the golfers a warm stay in Malawi as well as a good competition.
PGA Malawi president Partridge Shycal said 100 players have registered to play in the tournament.
“Already, 40 professional players have arrived. We expect more pros to join us today. There was another tournament in South Africa, the Mauritius Open pre-qualifier so some gofers are there and will be in today. Everything is set and we are looking forward to three days of exciting golf,” he said.
Shycal expressed gratitude to Kasaila for gracing the teeing off, saying it shows government commitment to promotion of golf.
Malawi will feature seven professionals, Paul Chidale, Adak Sailesi, Victor Kachepatsonga, Kondwani Mphulla, Shycal, Dingaani Chirwa and Gabriel Kambalame. The seven have been undergoing intensive lessons conducted by Golf Union Of Malawi national coach Chris Kachiguma.
Kachiguma has expressed optimism that the locals will perform well.
“From what I have seen I have hope in the local players. They are good and have some sort of exposure while playing in the Zone VI. They are also familiar with the golf course and that is another advantage,” he said.
Sailesi who has won many major local tournaments carries the hopes of fans and has promised not to disappoint
“It will be tough because we will be playing against some of the top gofers in Africa but we are ready. This is a great opportunity for exposure and learning. I have been training hard and I am ready,” he said.
The Ministry of Trade and Tourism and Umodzi Park are strategic partners in this international golf.
Companies such as TNM plc, Airtel, Toyota Malawi, FDH Bank have contributed towards the prize money.