By Mphatso Malidadi – The Nation

Renowned golfer Roza Mbilizi and unheralded Zakaria Ham dominated NICO General Insurance Ballpool tournament at Blantyre Sports Club on Wednesday.

The tournament had an impressive turn up of 63 golfers. Mbilizi, with a handicap of 10, posted 15 points to emerge the champion in the ladies’ category, whereas Hara, playing off handicap 15, scored 22 points to emerge the men’s category winner.

Following closely Mbilizi in the ladies’ section was Bose Kaphurutsa, who counted out Hariet Mariani to finish on second position with 14 points.

Both Mariani and Kaphumtsa have a similar handicap of 36. Mbilizi said she was determined to continue with her impressive form.

I had three pars, three double bogeys and also a birdie that saved me,” she said.

In the men’s category, Hara, playing off handicap 15, had six pars and three bogeys on his way to win the tournament.

“I dedicate this trophy to my wife Stella. I promised that I will win it for her and I am glad that I achieved it. This was my second tournament this year and it feels great to win. I don’t need to thank  my playing partners because they were also competing. I can only say hard luck to them,” he said.

Lawyer Victor Jere, playing off handicap 20, finished second with 19 points having countedout third-placed Chimwemwe Khonje, who had handicap 24.

Khonje was counted in at the expense of Chimwemwe Chimwaza.

Golf Union of Malawi (GUoM) Vice-President, Hudson Kantwanje, playing off handicap 11, was named best brooker.

Well-known lawyer, John Gift Mwakhwawa won the longest drive on hole l7 while ClaudioSandoval won the nearest to-the-pin on 10.

Mercy Mabhoza won the ladies‘ version of the nearest-to-the pin on hole 14.

NICO General Insurance Chief Executive Officer, Eric C‘hapola, said they were excited with the field of golfers that competed, saying 63 was impressive for a Wednesday’s ball-pool.

“We used the event to interact  with our clients because among the golfers, we knew that there were decision makers,” he said.

Blantyre Sports Club Golf Captain, Webster Kaunda, said they were impressed with the turn-up.

However, he encouraged golfers not to be selective when taking part in competitions at theclub.

“We need golfers to grace all our events in large numbers regardless of the brand of thecompetition,” he said.