TNM Plc, the top sponsor of golf in Malawi has stepped in the plate to offer $15,000 (K11 million) prize money for the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) tournament that Malawi will host for the first time in Lilongwe.
Dubbed the “Warm Heart of Africa Tour”, the tournament will highlight strides that Malawian golfers are making towards professional development. They will tee-off against professionals from other African countries. The Malawi PGA was formed last year modelled on similar bodies on the continent and who draw inspiration from major PGAs around the world.
Unveiling the sponsorship in Blantyre, TNM Acting Chief Executive Officer Eric Valentine said that the sponsorship will contribute significantly to the development of the sports in the country.
“TNM is a devoted partner of golf in Malawi where we sponsor various tournaments as well as the Malawi Open. Apart from golf, TNM is the long-term sponsor of football through the Super League, and our various interventions in sports speak volumes about our commitment to contribute towards nation building through sports,” said Valentine.
Valentine said the forthcoming PGA tour will provide a platform for Malawian professional golfers to compete against other renowned professionals, which will put Malawi golf on the map.
“Golf has come home. This is going to be a historic tour and TNM Plc is proud to be associated with such an event of international pedigree. We are confident that the Malawian pros will come out shining,” he said.
Speaking after the unveiling of the sponsorship, PGA Malawi Chairman Patridge Shycal, hailed TNM for the gesture describing company as a true partner to golf in Malawi.
The Warm Heart Pro Tour Malawi will attract over 80 golfers from 50 African countries. Some of the top-notch golfers will come from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Nigeria and Ghana.
The hosts Malawi are expected to field among others Dingaani Chirwa, Adam Sailesi, Gabriel Kambalame, Paul Chidale, Victor Kachepatsonga, Kondwani Mphulla and Patridge Shycal have recently turned professional.
This year’s PGA sponsorship includes proposed prizes for winners with the champion set to cart home about $7,500 (K5.5 million) and $6, 000 (K4.4 million) as second prize. The balance of the money will go towards managing event expenses.