The Swaziland Building Society (SBS) Golf Championship has contributed towards the growth of the Golf sport by unearthing the latest child sports prodigy in Eswatini sports scene.
This achievement befits the Society’s continuing commemoration of its 60th anniversary, which ends on 10 May 2023.
Over the weekend at Mbabane Golf Club, the tournament uncovered fifteen-year old Mongiwethu Masuku as the champion.
Masuku blazed a trail of destruction over the two days that the tournament was played, seemingly taking all his older opponents by surprise. The championship, which was sponsored to a tune of E30 000, boasted a record turn-out of 74 golfers. These included all the big golf hitters such as Rasheed Mohammed, Gideon Mhlongo, Valentine Maziya and the defending champion Vusi H. Dlamini.
Masuku quickly set himself apart from the rest of the field as early as the first round on Saturday morning when he carded 65 points. The young prodigy who has a five handicap then went on to score 73 the following day to win the tournament ahead of Siboniso Simelane and the defending champion Vusi Dlamini, respectively.
Masuku says he started playing golf from the age of five with support of his parents. He mentions that he is not new to the Mbabane Golf Club because that is where he honed his skills during his tender formative years. However, his performances have improved since moving to Johannesburg at the beginning of the year.
“I started attending Balderstone Sports Institute in Edenvale, Johannesburg three months ago. The coaching that I am receiving there has compelled me to change my approach to the game. My technique is now different as well as my mental approach.”
Masuku’s wish is to get a sponsor soon to assist with the bills as golf is not a cheap sport. He aspires to be a professional golfer.
“I want to play golf as a professional one day and I thank SBS for providing the Mbabane Golf Club with its sponsorship over the years which has enabled even youngsters like me to grow in the sport,” he said
Masuku’s local coach, Meshack Zwane, said the sky is the limit for the young golfing protégé.
“I started coaching him three years ago and I am pleased with his performance at the SBS Mbabane Golf Club Championship. This has been a result of his commitment to the game over the years. Youngsters have the capacity to absorb whatever they are taught at a young age easily. As far as Mongi is concerned everything is now in his hands, but I see a bright future for the boy.”
Also there to witness the excitement was SBS Managing Director, Mbali Sibanyoni, who remarked at the large turnout of golfers.
“Thank you for the overwhelming support. This is the first time that I have witnessed such a large gathering at this event since I started coming here eight years ago,” she said.
Sibanyoni acknowledged the participation of the youngsters at the championship, stating thus: “The future is in good hands. Siyabonga kusinika litsemba ngoba bantfwana bangu mliba loya embili.”
She also congratulated all those who participated in the tournament, mentioning that their participation was worth recognizing.
Meanwhile, the ladies winner for the second year in a row was Nosimilo Kgomo with a gross score of 165 and a net of 145.
The only other lady at the tournament was Sandra Weatherson, who was participating in her maiden golf tournament. The absence of female golfers, outgoing Club Captain Fisiwe Vilane and Futhi Dlamini, was noticeable.
Making her remarks, the Club Captain Fisiwe Vilane thanked all those who participated and also gave a special thanks to the SBS for its support for the eighth consecutive year.
“This year the SBS increased its sponsorship from E25 000 to E 30 000 all of which has gone towards the prizes for the tournament,” she said.