Lusaka - Last time he was in Zambia, Justin Harding’s final round four-under-par 68 fell just one shot short of forcing a play-off, and he is looking for a better finish in the R1.2-million Zambia Sugar Open which tees off on Thursday at Lusaka Golf Club.
Harding finished in a share of second in the Mopani Copper Mines Zambia Open in Kitwe on May 18, behind veteran Wallie Coetsee, who took his first title in 17 years.
He followed it with a solid performance for a share of 13th in the Lombard Insurance Classic in Swaziland on May 25.
“It was a nice result I had in Kitwe,” Harding said on Wednesday.
"I hope I can build on it. This is a happy hunting ground for me, and I’m back to being healthy again.
"I had a stint of three or four weeks when I was playing through a few injuries, and that wasn’t the best idea. So I’m pleased to be making a full committed golf swing.”
Harding won the 2012 Zambia Open at Lusaka Golf Club in his most successful season to date on the Sunshine Tour, and he had been winless since that success, which he was not a satisfactory return, he said.
“It’s been a while,” Harding said.
“I certainly am looking for another win. I gave myself a chance up in Kitwe, but, to be fair, I think I was a little too far back going into the final round.
"But it was nice being up there again and I hope the happy memories I have around this place will bring back a little of my mojo.”
The course was slightly softer on the fairways than he remembered, but the small greens were firmer.
“The greens are a little bit quicker than I’m used to here, but all-in-all, it’s looking very good.
“It’s a bit of an awkward little golf course. It’s very tight and there’s a lot of dog-leg and shape to it and you definitely have to manage your way around.”