Ray Bande Senior Reporter
THE country’s third best golfer – Robson Chinhoi – who traces the infancy of his blossoming career to Hillside Golf Club in Mutare, says it is only a matter of time before he plays in the world class European and Asian Tours.
Chinhoi (29) is ranked third behind Harare golfers Bern Fillet Smith and Trinos Muradzikwa.
Just before the onset of the Covid-19 lockdown, Chinhoi was leading in the fight for Kenya Open, remaining two slots on 169 points, with Ugandan Philip Kasozi and Nigerian Andrew Oche Odoh on 167 and 165.5, respectively.
The former Versatile Academy learner was playing on safari tour, the qualifiers for the Magical Kenya Open, which is under the European Tour.
However, the competition could not be concluded due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is sad we could not finish off when I was on top of my game in the Magical Kenya Open qualifiers. The challenge now is to go back on the course when competitions begin and prove that my exploits were no fluke,” he said.
Chinhoi said if he gets the necessary help, he sees himself playing in the European and Asian Tour tournaments.
“I have been working hard since I was 21 when I got interested in golf at Hillside Golf Club. I see nothing standing in my way so l will achieve my longstanding dream of playing in the European and Asian Tour tournaments. Of course, that will require the requisite help for me to achieve that,” he said.
The Magical Kenya Open is now set for November.
In an article posted in a Kenyan publication on the prestigious Kenya Open competition, Vincent Wang’ombe, the general manager of Kenya Open Golf Limited, wrote: “With all the negative news in the world and at a time when we are in desperate need of good news, it was such a great relief to learn of the new dates for this year’s Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa Bank.
“The European Tour has now set the new date for our prized event from November 12 to 15, this year. Staging of the event is of course dependent on the prevailing situation with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The new dates allocated to the Magical Kenya Open coincide with those of The Masters, which is one of the four majors of golf. This is not a problem for us since the initial date of March 12 to 15 was going to happen at the same time as The Players’ Championship, which is unofficially referred to as the fifth major,” reads the statement.
The Magical Kenya Tour is widely publicised.
“The Magical Kenya Open will be staged at the magnificent Karen Country Club and will be televised live all over the world through the European Tour broadcast partners.
“Televising of the events in the US starts after the close of our event here in Kenya and this gives viewers the opportunity to watch both events, should they choose to.
“Last year’s live broadcast of the Magical Kenya Open reached over 296 million households. The people who will be watching the tournament from the comfort of their homes will also get to see snippets of the visits that the Kenya Tourism Board organises for international players at the Nairobi National Park,” reads part of Wang’ombe’s article.
Non-Kenyans who qualified for the tournament are Chinhoi from Zimbabwe, Andrew Odoh from Nigeria and Kasozi from Uganda.