With just close to a week before tee-off, organisers for the Malawi Profession Golf Tour, face shortfall of MK 4.4 million (about US$6,000) on funding but chairperson of the organising committee, David Church was quick to say preparations for the tournament slated from November 22 to 25 ate going on well.
Church was speaking in Lilongwe when his company, Peermont Group donated US$10,900 towards hospitality of the players for the Tour, dubbed The Warm Heart Pros Tour.
Church, who is Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) Complex Manager, commended other companies who came in to support this first-ever professional golf tournament.
He said so far 83 players have confirmed their participation from over 10 countries including one of the Portuguese top Sunshine Tour player Stephen Ferreira.
Church said out out of US$62,000 they budgeted for, they have managed to source out US$56,000 but was quick to say they will manage to raise it all because companies are still to honour their pledges.
He said with the help of golf captain Medson Roka, who is working tirelessly to ensure that the course is in good shape, preparations for the event are going well.
Church disclosed that the Tour will start with a Pro-Am, which will be held on November 21 before official opening gala at BICC, which will be graced officials from Ministry of Sports.
Some of the countries who have confirmed participation are from Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
President of Professional Golfers Association of Malawi (PGAMW) Partridge Shycal says the tour will also be used as a stepping stone in promoting Malawi tourism.
Shycal said for many years, Malawian golfers have been playing as amateurs and that status forbid them from receiving cash prizes but they were entitled to material prizes like golf-related equipment, television sets, microwaves, trophies and other prizes.
But now they want golfers to earn their salaries from playing golf as it is done in other countries. He said the forthcoming tour is one of the two international tours the association pledges to be hosting annually apart from the local tournaments.
Other sponsorship partners include car dealers Toyota Malawi, FDH Bank, TNM, Umodzi Park and others.
According to a communique from PGAMW, the tournament is being organised in partnership with Umodzi Park & Resorts, home to BICC and the only 5-star hotel in Malawi – The President Walmont Hotel managed by Peermont.
PGAMW says due to an overwhelming demand from golfers in the region, the committee has setup a quota of 10 players maximum per country to control the number of golfers not to exceed a field of 80 players in total that Lilongwe Golf Club can accommodate a day.
They target to raise USD50,000 as total prize fund of 15 percent goes to the winner and the balance to be shared amongst the top 30 players.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :