Battle-hardened golfer Bashir Shariff and Connie Muguvu-Karuku’s sheer quality shone like flare on Saturday when they won the NICO General Invitational Golf Tournament at Nchalo Sports Club (NSC) in Chikwawa.

“I am a veteran of many battles and I have played at this course several times; I know it inside out. The secret behind my success was to keep the ball on the fairway,” said Shariff who emerged winner in the men’s category with 38 points after counting out Stevie Chanje while Rui Araujo was third with 36 points.

James ‘JJ’ Chikapa (34 points) and Bregger Kaingwe (33 points) were fourth and fifth respectively.

For his feat, Shariff received a trophy and a Cleveland golf bag.

In the women’s category, Muguvu-Karuku won with 34 Points, eight points clear of her runner-up Margaret Mukwenah.

A birdie on hole number three coupled with four pars were the centrepiece of Muguvu-Karuku’s triumph. She was rewarded with a tailor-made bag and a trophy.

Felix Mlusu won the seniors’ category with 32 points while Hamilton Mzungu won the Nchalo Closed with 29 points.

Muguvu-Karuku enjoyed a double as she also had the longest drive in the ladies’ category while Dan Makata did it in the men’s section. Nearest to the pin were Florentine Kabefu and Nazir Surtee in the women’s and men’s categories, respectively.

NICO General Insurance chief executive officer Eric Chapola said the annual event is a thank you to Illovo who are one of their major customers and others in the Southern Region.

“I thank NSC for hosting us here, a big thank you also goes to the organising team and, of course, all of you golfers.

“The response was overwhelming as the tournament was over-subscribed and we will be back next year,” said Chapola whose company also donated MK200,000 to NSC for the maintenance of the greens.

By Garry Chirwa – The Nation