STANBIC Bank Zambia yesterday donated a K75,000 cheque towards the hosting of the Zambia Sugar Open golf tournament which tees off today at Lusaka Golf Club.
At a briefing held yesterday at Lusaka Golf Club, organising committee chairperson Roy Penney confirmed that the committee had met the K3 million targeted budget and all was set for the tournament from which the winner will walk away with K825,000 prize money.
And Stanbic Bank head of global market Victor Chileshe said he was confident that this year’s tournament will be bigger than last year’s.
“The 2014 tournament was a big success and I am sure that this year it will be bigger. We are proud to support the sport of golf and will not be a one-off sponsorship,” he said.
Penney said the committee has received so much support from the corporate world and individuals to ensure that the tournament was hosted.
“We have reached the budget of K3 million and ready to kick-off. Everyone has been supportive enabling us to meet the budget. The tournament will be very competitive and has attracted 144 golfers,’’ he said.
He said it was unfair to expect good performance from the Zambian golfers because they lacked international exposure.
“Our golfers come here once in a year yet people expect them to perform well. We are asking too much and it’s demoralising for them because they don’t know what they are up against. For one to be competitive, he or she needs to be participating in many tournaments,
“ This is why I am pushing for the set-up of the Zambia Professional Golf Association. This will help groom our own so that they can do well in international events,” he said.
Penney said there was need to develop golf at a tender age for them to win the Masters by the age of 21.
“The talent is here, all we need is discipline and practice. We need to find the likes of Patrick Mwendapole of tomorrow now at 15 years,” he said.
He said the tournament will tee off with a Lusaka Golf club sponsored Pro-Am today and tomorrow.
Among the notables participating at the tournament are defending champion from South Africa Lyle Rowe, Zambia’s Patrick Mwendapole ,Bube Samutela and Madalisto Muthiya and Wallie Coetsee, winner of the 2014 Mopani Zambia Open tournament.