MOPANI Copper Mines chief executive officer Chris Vermuelen says he is hopeful Nkana Golf Club will produce a future Zambia Open champion.
During the chairman’s cocktail, signaling the start of this year’s prestigious Mopani/Redpath/Greendoor Zambia Open in Kitwe on Monday evening, Vermuelen said it was gratifying that the Nkana Golf Club academy was producing young golfers who have begun participating in international events.
The Zambia Open started yesterday with the traditional Pro-Am awaiting the main event that tees off tomorrow.
“It is Mopani’s hope that the continued improvements in infrastructure at Nkana Golf Club will be a springboard for our Zambian players to do better in the future. The upgraded Nkana Golf Club should inspire our Zambian youths, particularly those that will go through the Nkana Golf Club’s junior golf academy, to take a serious interest in golf,” Vermuelen said.
“…it is gratifying to note that most of the junior golfers are now able to compete for honours at the international level. A good example is young Dominic Musonda, who was crowned champion in the under 14 boys’ category at the South Africa kids junior African challenge 2018. We are, therefore, confident as Mopani that in the near future, this academy will produce a Zambia Open champion.”
He thanked the Zambia Golf Union for according the club an opportunity to host the tournament and the Emmanuel Mutati-led Zambia Open Organising Committee for the job done in organising the prestigious tournament.
And Mutati said: “…once again allow me on behalf of the Zambia Open Organising Committee (ZOOC), to convey my profound thanks to Mopani Copper Mines plc, Redpath Mining and Greendoor Group who are the co-title sponsors of this year’s Zambia Open. The title sponsors have raised the prize money from US$150,000 last year to US$225,000 for 2019. It is also gratifying to note that this year we have about 20 countries being represented by these professional golfers. Our hope is that the junior golfers will learn one or two things from these professionals, especially during the junior golf coaching clinics tomorrow Tuesday, March 26 – right here at the Nkana Golf Club,” said Mutati.
Meanwhile, defending champions Rourke van der Spuy and local hopeful Madalitso Muthiya will be on the course today for the final Mopani/RedPath/Green Door Pro-Am.
Van der Spuy will start at 06:50 in the morning from the first tee while Muthiya will hit the course at 11:00 from the same spot.