Sunshine Tour

Mazibuko eyes Asian Tour

2017-02-26 06:00
CONCENTRATION: Makhetha Mazibuko studies a putt direction on the green during the Eye of Africa PGA Championship. (Petri Oeschger, Sunshine Tour, Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Sunshine Tour player Makhetha Mazibuko is hoping to win more tournaments locally and obtain a card to compete in the Asian Tour next year.

The idea behind the Bloemfontein golfer’s dream, he says, is to become the first South African export to crack the big time in Asia by winning many events there.

James Kamte lifted the Asian Tour International in Thailand in 2009, but forfeited his card as his form dwindled.

More competition

Most South African golfers opt for European Tour cards instead of Asian ones.

But the 29-year-old Mazibuko believes he will make his international mark once he competes in Asia, where he believes there is more competition than anywhere else globally.

The source of his ambition is his good showing at the Eye of Africa PGA Championship at Eye of Africa Signature Golf Estate at Eikenhof, Johannesburg, a fortnight ago.

He tied for second following a tense three-way play-off with eventual winner Erik van Rooyen and Dylan Frittelli.

Mazibuko came agonisingly close to pulling off what would have been an amazing victory after shooting a joint score of -16 for 272 and pocketing just over R138 150 – his biggest earning so far.

This is a great feat for a player who has just been drafted into the Sunshine Tour’s Gary Player Class of 2017 development initiative.

“I have set my sights on winning a few events on the tour locally and competing in Asia next year. I want to do well and qualify for a tour card,” said Mazibuko.

“I hope to become the first South African to win several trophies there.”

Struggling throughout year

A product of the SA Golf Development Board and the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation, Mazibuko withstood the rigours of the week as he announced himself as someone who would break through soon.

Sunday’s position was his best finish since he broke into the pro ranks in 2011. He went through the Sunshine Tour’s Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School.

Mazibuko’s coach Betty Mokoena said the player had the potential to win big locally and play in Asia.

“Last weekend’s score was the crowning moment of his career so far. He has improved a lot and will definitely win more trophies locally and qualify to compete in Asia,” Mokoena said.

Mmereki Thekisho, Mazibuko’s manager, said: “He has been struggling throughout the year due to financial hassles of having to cater for the caddie and transport to events, among other things. The purse he got for coming second at last weekend’s event will help ease the burden.”

Mazibuko competed at the Dimension Data Pro-Am at Montagu Golf Course in Fancourt, Western Cape.

He is currently taking part in the Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, which started on Thursday and finishes today.

“I am fired up at the moment and I hope to win this one,” Mazibuko said.

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  james kamte  |  johannesburg  |  golf
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