By Mphatso Malidadi – The Daily Times

Golfer Eric Chapola’s prolific skills saw him win the NICO General Insurance golf toumament atNchalo Sports Club on Saturday but unfortunately he could not lift the trophy by virtue of being categorized as a sponsor.

For his efforts, sharp focus and fine shots, Chapola willingly gave up the title during the tournament that attracted a field of 72 golfers.

Chapola said it was a great for him, NICO General and the golfing fraternity.

“I played with no pressure and this helped me win. But as a sponsor could not take the prize. In fact drama started to unfold soon after we teed off with my playing partners.

“My playing partners initiated the debate when Willet Kalonga asked what can happen if a sponsor wins the tournament. Immediately John Gift Mwakhwawa being a lawyer responded that a sponsor cannot win. Knowing that I was playing much better refused to comment on the topic until when we were about to finish,” said Chapola who posted 37 points.

After Chapola defaulted the top position, Titus Nnensa was named champion in men’s category after collecting 36 points to break his own record of 34 points.

“This is the first time I have collected 36 points at this course,” he said.

Steve Chanje finished second with 35 points while lawyer, Mwakhwawa, was counted in to finish third with 34 points. Davlin Chokazinga was counted in and finished fourth with the same number of points.

In ladies category, Roza Mbilizi was first with 36 points while Carol Banda was second with 34 points. Mbilizi said they had fun on the golf course and she hailed the support she got from her playing partners.

In individual awards, Gilbert Chirwa won the nearest to the pin award on hole 18 while Charles Merrick won the longest drive on hole 17.

In ladies category, Beatrice Mangwana won the longest drive but there was no one to win the nearest to the pin award.

Henry Msiska was named the best brooker with 28 points and he went away with a Nike Golf bag while JJ Chikapa with 30 points won the seniors category.

Speaking during the prize presentation, Chapola, who is also NICO General Insurance chief executive officer, said they were the largest insurance company in Malawi and they command 40 percent market share.

“It’s not how you insure it but where. If you are not insured with us please think twice,” he said.

NICO General has been sponsoring golf toumaments in Nchalo for eight years.

“This is an annual competition. We will come back next year and many more years to come. Nchalo is one of our largest clients. We come here to say thank you very much to them and we also come to listen to them what is it we can do better,” he said.

NICO General also donated MK200,000 for the maintenance of the greens.