Mkhoma shines at KZN Open champs

2011-11-09 00:00

OVER the past few years, the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) programme in KwaZulu-Natal has produced some exciting talent. One of the most promising young players to have benefited from the dedication of the development coaches in that region is 19-year-old Phiwakahle Mkhoma.

Earlier this year Mkhoma won the KwaZulu-Natal Toyota U23 championships at Scottburgh Golf Club, which announced him as a serious contender in amateur golf events in the province.

He has now followed up with a victory at the 2011 Southern KZN Open Championships at South-broom Golf Club.

“Phiwakahle shot magnificent rounds of 71 and 67 to win by two shots,” says the SAGDB development manager for KZN, Joseph Kunene. “The tournament drew top players from all over the province and he has proven that he can compete against them all, including some senior provincial players.”

By winning the 36-hole event, Mkhoma shows that he has the game and the temperament to mix with the best.

“This will see him moving up the rankings in the KwaZulu-Natal U23, KZN Country Districts and KZN Open orders of merit,” Kunene says. “He played well and we believe that he can now keep this up.”

Mkhoma’s performance is not the only good news for the SAGDB as his 17-year-old brother didn’t finish far behind him.

Phumlani Mkhoma, who is also a member of the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation, finished in a tie for third place after rounds of 72 and 70.

Other SAGDB players to impress at the event were Calvin Coelho, who came ninth thanks to rounds of 80 and 67, and 17-year-olds Sphelele Mbokazi and Siyanda Mwandla who finished 26th and 29th, respectively.

In all, seven SAGDB players competed at the event, with their participation funded by the KwaZulu-Natal Golf Union.

“We would like to thank the KZN Golf Union for their continued support of golf development in the province, which started in 2007,” Kunene says. “They put aside funds to look after current and graduated single-figure handicap SAGDB players so that they can play in all the main provincial tournaments.”

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