An exciting Debswana Botswana Closed Championship is expected tomorrow, as the cream of amateur golfers descend on Orapa for the two day competition.
Defending champion, Walter Seokemong is among favourites although young sensation, Leroy Pearmain is always a threat. Pearmain missed last year’s competition due to international assignments.
The tournament will be divided into four categories namely; Championship (handicap 0-9), A Division (handicap 10-16) B division (handicap 17-24) and the Women’s Division (0-24). Botswana Golf Union (BGU) secretary general, Mpho Kelosiwang said all divisions will play 36 holes over the two days and over 80 participants from Botswana are expected to take part.
“This is the first time that Debswana will be in partnership with BGU and Orapa Golf Club in this championship. While at its infancy, we believe that this partnership will continue to grow and improve the quality of golf in the country,” said Kelosiwang. He said the championship is one of the four that contribute points towards the selection of Botswana’s representatives to the Windhoek Lager Africa Golf Championship played in Namibia in June.
Kelosiwang, however, said it would be misplaced to conclude that the event would be a contest between only the two protagonists, Seokemong and Pearmain. He said there are other talented golfers on the fairway like Peter Podise, Sipho Abueng, David Masole and Kesentseng Dube. Abueng will be motivated by his exploits at Lobatse, where he tamed one of the most challenging golf courses in the country to win the Southern Open Championship early this year. Kelosiwang said BGU has eyes on the future, with young players Baatile Mangole and Clayton Shangare (15) participating.
Shangare is the youngest while Mangole is 18 years old. The women’s division has been robbed by the absence of defending champion, Ouname Mhotsha which leaves Minkie Molatlhegi and Siphiwe Sankhuta as favourites.
“The championship will contribute points towards the Botswana Amateur Golf Rankings. The BGU will for the first time this year keep women’s National Golf Rankings from these tournaments, which will in the future be used to select women’s national team and participation at the end of the year Tour Championship,” he said.