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Malawi PGA tour starts

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

Malawi Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Warm Heart Tour started yesterday with over 50 foreign golfers taking part in the maiden event at the 18-hole Lilongwe Golf Club.

The tour started with a Pro-Am event which featured professional and amateur golfers.

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Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Francis Kasaila, teed off the event in the morning.

The main event, which involves professional golfers, runs from today to Sunday at the same venue.

PGA Malawi Chairperson, Patridge Shycal, said he was overwhelmed by the turnout despite that there is another tour in Lagos, Nigeria, this weekend “So far, 40 foreign golfers have arrived for the event and we expect more golfers to arrive by the end of the day [yesterday]. We might have issues to do with the numbers because some of the professional golfers were taking part in Mauritius Open pre-qualifiers in South Africa. There was another tournament in Ivory Coast,’’ he said.

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National golf Coach, Chris Kachiguma, said the sport is going in the right direction in Malawi.

We have been waiting for a chance to host such a big event in Malawi. The organising committee has done a wonderful job. We are confident in our local golfers that they would do well during the tournament,” Kachiguma said.

Zimbabwean top golfers Tongoona Charamba and Ryan Carins were yet to arrive yesterday as we went to press while others from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa have reported for the event.

Malawi will be represented in the tour by Paul Chidale, Adam Sailesi, Victor Kachepatsonga, Kondwani Mphula and Gabriel Kambalame.

There is $7,000 [about K5.1 million] at stake for the champion and $6,000 [K4.4 million] for the runner-up of the event, which companies such as TNM plc, Airtel, Toyota Malawi, FDH Bank and Umodzi Park have sponsored.

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