This year’s Lilongwe Open Golf main sponsor Seed Company (SeedCo ) Malawi has offered US$5 000 ( about K4 millio) prize money to the professional category to be played from November 13-15.
The tournament is expected to attract a field of about 30 pros from Malawi and neighbouring Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.
Confirming the special sponsorship package, SeedCo Malawi’s managing director, Boyd Luwe said they thought of increasing the hype of their tournament this year by offering professionals an early Christmass gift.
“We also bear in mind the fcat that professionals play gold for a living and it is theier only source of income,” he said.
“It should start with us the corporates to support our professionals by including them in our budgets if we are to grow the game.
“Companies have sponsored amateur golf in Malawi for years and it’s high time to go more international by sponsoring professional tours as well that will facilitate tourist’s traffic and thereby profiling Malawi on the international scene”, Luwe added.
This is a second return of the SeedCo Lilongwe Open which also took place last year complemented by its business partners such as NBS Bank, Standard Bank, NICO, Toyota Malawi, FDH Bank amongst others.
Professional Golfers Association of Malawi (PGAMW) president, General Henry Odillo Rtd was upbeat over the news, saying this incentive comes as a solace to the players who have been badly affected by the ban on tournaments due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Odillo said the tour will attract a minimum of 5 pros from Zambia, about 10 pros from Zimbabwe, 2 from Tanzania and one or two from South Africa.
Commenting on the condition of the gold course, Lilongwe Golf Club captain, Thomas Chafunya said the 18-hole course is in fantastic condition in years and extra effort has been mad for the greens to be wider and much atoned.
“We look forward to host the second Seedco Lilongwe Open, which is one of the biggest tournaments on our calendar with international pros in attendance,” he said.
PGAMW vice-president Patridge Shycal said; Day 1 of the tournament will tee-off on 13th November from 11am with a combined field of pros and amateurs in Champion Division in a stroke-play format, while Day 2 and 3 will have the pros, Championship as well as Division A & B.
For many years, Malawian golfers have been playing as amateurs, a status that forbids them from receiving cash prizes in accordance to the Royal & Ancient (R&A) Golf Club Rule 3, sub-rule 2 Prize Limits — which says; “amateur golfer must not accept a prize (other than a symbolic prize) or prize voucher of retail value in excess of £500 or the equivalent, or such a lesser figure as may be decided by the governing body.
“This limit applies to the total prizes or prize vouchers received by an amateur golfer in any one competition or series of competitions except in hole-in-one prize where an amateur golfer may accept a prize in excess of the limit in Rule 3-2a, including a cash prize, for making a hole-in-one during a round of golf on a golf course,” says the rule.
PGAMW was then formed in a bid to help top notch golfers earn money from playing golf as it is done in world over.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :