After being outshone by his wife for years, Christopher Mpanga on Saturday hauled himself out of the mire to win the Habp Golf Tournament at Mulanje Golf Club (MGC).
Playing off 19 handicap (h/c), the Lilongwe-based golfer turned on a classic show to register 67 net—two ahead of his runner-up Harold Lungu (10h/c)—who, however, surrendered his position by virtue of being the sponsor. Lungu is the managing director (MD) of Habp.
The second position, therefore, went to Rajiv Rawat (15h/c) who had a 71 net score while MGC chairperson Jim Melrose was third after amassing a 73 net score.
Mpanga, who was visibly floating on air, could not hide his excitement, saying: “I am not an emotional person, but today is one of my emotional days. The Mpanga name has been victorious for a number of times, not because of me, but my wife [Jochabed].
“It has taken me about four years, but today was my day and I thank Habp for hosting such a wonderful tournament. The secret was that I was taking it easy, I didn’t force it. When I sunk in a birdie and a few pars, I knew this could be it.”
Mpanga went away with a KIC refrigerator, a fuel card worth K40 000, a trophy, five litres of GTX oil and two nights accommodation for two courtesy of Hapuwani Lodge.
In the ladies category, Connie Karuku (19h/c) took the crown with net 69 while Bose Kamphulusa (22h/c) was the runner-up after registering 75 net, Cathy Matura was third with net 79.
Karuku, who went away with a Defy washing machine, K40 000 fuel card, five litres Castrol GTX diesel and a trophy, said she was excited to win her second Habp title.
“Today, I had a good round of golf. A birdie and a par were key to my victory. Thanks to the sponsor, we had so much fun,” said Karuku who was also nearest to the pin in ladies’ section.
Veteran golfer John Magombo won the seniors’ category while Bashir Shariff was the runner-up. Phillip Phambana finished third.
The best tea estate golfer went to MGC captain Ajay Singh while Gabriel Kambale had the best score with 78 gross. Sophie Kalambule had the longest drive in women’s category while Gilton Chiwaula did it in men’s section. Tony Kandiero was nearest to the pin for men.
Edwin Chipala and Eric Chapola had two clubs and went away with K45 000 each.
The lubricants distributor’s MD pledged continued sponsorship of the annual competition.
“We thank all of you for coming here. The tournament was a success because of you and our appeal is that continue supporting us by buying our lubricants so that we can continue sponsoring the tournament,” said Lungu.
Habp also donated K1 million for the maintenance of the greens. A total of 101 golfers took part in the tournament.
Melrose thanked Habp for its continued sponsorship, saying: “It is the tournament that we look forward to more than any other. We are thankful for choosing Mulanje,” he said. n