Philip Phambana and Jochebed Mpanga defied the odds to win the Optichem Fertilisers Golf Tournament in the men and ladies’ categories, respectively, at Thyolo Sports Club on Sunday.
Handicap-24 Phambana amassed 44 stableford points to earn his first triumph in over 10 competitions after fluffing off contention from 53 competitors, including his runner-up Rajeev Singh Rawat (41 points) and third-placed Gerson Araujo (39 points).
“It feels great to break the jinx that has been tormenting me in my last 10 competitions since December 2016,” said the Blantyre Sports Club (BSC) golfer, who had six pars and four bogeys on the day.
As for handicap 27 Mpanga, this was her first time to play on Thyolo golf course yet she managed to outsmart four ladies that frequently patronise the place. With 40 points, she was way ahead of her runner-up Arnes Araujo, who collected 36 points.
“It is not easy to win golf when you are having a feel of the course for the first time. Moreover, I am used to playing on greens and not the browns but still I managed to become the champion. This is a big sign that my golf is improving,” said the Lilongwe-based Mpanga, who has so far won eight competitions since she took up the sport one and a half years ago.
The winner’s prize in the seniors category went to Kingsley Chimdima Mhango, who beat his runner-up John Magombo by a single point after collecting 38 points.
Harold Lungu and Connie Muguvu-Karuku found solace in having the longest drive in the men and ladies’ sections in that order while Keta Mulwafu was nearest to the pin.
Optichem Fertilisers (2000) Limited general manager Bobby Singh, who presented K100 000 to Thyolo golf captain Rawat for course maintenance, expressed delight with the good turnout of golfers.
“We are happy with the good turn out and we feel honoured that golfers accepted our call,” he said, adding, the main objective of the event was to appreciate the support they get from their customers in the agriculture industry in Thyolo. n