By Garry Chirwa – The Nation

A record 77 golfers took part in the NICO General Wednesday Ball Pool at Blantyre Sports Club (BSC), which was organised to thank its prospective clients.

Ahmed Abbas emerged the overall winner with 22 points, in a tournament in which 19 points was the centre-piece of it all.

The winner in the ladies category was Carol Banda

The runner-up to fifth position in the men’s category finished with 19 points so too in the ladies category in which the winner and top three also had similar points.

Abbas said he was overwhelmed with his triumph. saying it had been a while since he last won a prize. The 13 handicapped golfer got a sit-up bench gym and a trophy as his prize. His runner-up was Kenam Siula, who counted out Keta Mwalwafu.

Mwalwafu counted out Alex Chitsime while Dan Vosloo finished fifth.

In the ladies category, Banda’s sheer quality shone like a beacon to finish top after counting out Teri Amaro, who in turn, counted out 10-handicapped Roza Mbilizi in a tight contest.

“I just tried to play to my normal handicap. I realised that I had a chance to carry the day on hole nine, I missed a par, but l had a bogey. I have a new set of golf clubs so maybe that is why I am inspired because last weekend I finished second in the Makande Tea EstateTournament in Mulanje,” said Banda.

In subsidiary prizes, Banda was nearest to the pin on hole five in ladies category whereas Amaro had the longest drive on hole two.

In the men’s category. nearest to the pin on hole one was Vosloo while BSC golf captain Hudson Kantwanje had the longest drive on hole six.

NICO General chief executive officer Eric Chapola said the aim of organising the tournament was to thank golfers for their support last year, “It was a year that we strategised to grow through partnerships and we did achieve our goals, so this was one way of saying thank you,” said Chapola.

The insurance firm’s assistant general manager (operations) Donbell Mandala expressed satisfaction with the turnout saying “We are very excited, 77 is not just a number, it is massive.”

Kantwanje described the turnout as a record in a ball pool and thanked NiCO General for the sponsorship.

In the picture below, Banda receives her prizes from Mandala