David Nyirenda banished his swing demons in time at Mulanje Golf Club on Saturday to win his first major title during the Packaging Industries Malawi (PIM) Invitational Tournament.
The 21-handicap golfer collected only two points on the first two holes, but wriggled off the hook with eight pars and five bogeys on the subsequent holes to stand above the 63-strong field with 44 stableford points.
â€œI struggled with my swing at the start because I was acclimatising to this course as this was my first time to play here,â€ said the 44-year-old TNM employee after receiving his trophy from PIM managing director Symon Itaye.
â€œThis event has given me confidence and courage to vie for more major titles as I have managed to outsmart big names on the domestic scene. Beating players such as single-handicap Chikago Phiri is a rare achievement.â€
Nyirenda, who joined the sport in 2008, finished the day six points ahead of his runner-up Titus Nnensa who was favoured by a count-back on five holes to be on top of Steven Chanje after a tie on 38 points.
In the ladiesâ€™ category, Margaret Mkwanda celebrated her 27 years of playing golf with a title. She registered 37 points while Stella Hara took the second position after collecting 35 points.
Apart from being among the seven 2-club winner, who included Gabriel Kambale, Ian Bonongwe and Harold Lungu, Ronwell Malikita found solace in hitting nearest to the pin on hole 15. Phiri had the longest drive on hole 9.
After presenting a K75 000 (about $227) cheque to Mulanje golf captain, Jones Katangwe, for the maintenance of the greens, Itaye said they would continue sponsoring the annual event although they are still experiencing after-shocks of the recent forex shortage in the country.
â€œWe have been sponsoring this event for 16 years in Mulanje and we will continue bankrolling the competition,â€ said Itaye.