Bashir Shariff marked 30 years of life on the golf course by bagging eight pars and 10 boggies to win the revived Sunbird Championship at Gymkhana Club in Zomba on Saturday.
On a relatively hot day, the veteran recorded 41 points, 20 on front and 21 on back to beat a field of 50 golfers and claim a 65th title.
Shariff, playing off handicap 22, has now been crowned the Sunbird champion for the third time and could not hide his joy at his success.
“I have always been successful with Sunbird tournaments and I am pleased that I also won,” he said. “The course was pretty challenging because it was dry and needed massive concentration.”
The Blantyre-based champion received a trophy, a golf travel bag and a night’s accommodation for two at Sunbird Ku Chawe.
The runner up was Mike Kalulu who, after 18 holes, also netted 41 points but dropped to second after being counted out.
Retired Brigadier General Gregory Njala, playing off handicap 18, emerged third with 40 points. He scored 21 on front and 19 on back.
In ladies’ category, Stella Hara ended her eight-month break to emerge the winner after beating off competition from two other golfers.
She bagged 32 points, recording a poor 13 on front and a strong 19 on the back.
“I took a break on medical grounds but this afternoon it feels good to be back playing. The victory is just an icing on the cake,” she said amid applause.
Meanwhile, Sunbird Tourism Limited chief executive officer Rodger Gardner has promised that the competition, which was last held 12 years ago, will be held annually.
“We thank the golfers for taking part in this competition. Our promise is that we will make it an annual tournament,” he said. n