Bramford secures fourth place at Africa Amateur Mathew Bramford

Brandon Moyo-Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWEAN golfer, Mathew Bramford was one of the star attractions at the historic inaugural Africa Amateur Championship after securing a fourth-place finish at the tournament which came to an end on Saturday. 

The African Championship was played at the picturesque Leopard Creek Country Club in Mpumalanga, South Africa, and the Zimbabwean star golfer managed to shoot an impressive 10-under-par score after the regulation 72 holes. Bramford finished a gross of 278 following round scores of 65, 74, 71, and 68 in his four rounds. 

He was just three shots behind the leading pack of Altin Van der Merwe, Christian Maas, and Ivan Vester who all shot 13-under-par. Van der Merwe would go on to win after a play-off. In round one of the championship, Bramford managed to set the pace after taking the lead with his best round in the tournament. 

An eagle on the par-four 6th was the highlight of the front nine for 19-year-old Bramford, who recently moved to South Africa to attend golf school at Bramble Hill and has committed to playing college golf with Friends University in Kansas. 

A prolific back nine featured back-to-back birdies on the 10th and 11th holes and then three consecutive birdies through the 14th, 15th, and 16th holes rounded off a fantastic performance. After the impressive round that saw him go one shot ahead of Vester, Bramford was pleased with his start, saying that he exceeded his expectations. 

However, in the second round, Bramford shot his worst round in the championship. The Zimbabwean slipped down on the leaderboard after a two-over-par 74 to finish the round in fourth place on five-under. 

In the third round, Bramford slipped one step back as well, moving to fifth place as he shot a one-under-par 71 before going on to bounce back in the final round. 

In the final round on Saturday, Bramford went on to shoot an impressive four-under-par 68 to move to fourth and finish off his campaign on a high note.

There was excitement for Zimbabwe again as 17-year-old Keegan Shutt claimed the course record at Leopard Creek with a remarkable 10-under-par 62. 

Shutt, who has represented Zimbabwe on various international championships started on the 10th tee and made six birdies on his front nine before following up with shots picked up on his 11th and 12th holes and then a brilliant eagle on the 15th hole.

Shutt finished the historic tournament in a two-way tie for position eight. He was on a level-par 288 gross and was tied with Amilkar Bhana. Tanaka Chatora finished in position 12 after shooting four-over-par-292.  

The Africa Amateur Championship and Africa Amateur Women’s Invitational were developed by The R&A to nurture talent and provide a pathway for the continent’s elite amateur golfers to the international stage.

The R&A is the world’s governing body of golf alongside the United States Golf Association (USGA). However, the two operate in separate jurisdictions with a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, and Equipment Standards.

The R&A, through R&A Rules Ltd, governs the sport worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, on behalf of over 61 million golfers in 145 countries and with the consent of 164 organisations from amateur and professional golf. 

In the Women’s Invitational, Zimbabwe’s Margaret Nyamukondiwa and Kudzai Mandava finished in positions nine (tied) and 11 respectively. 

The Women’s Invitational was won by South Africa’s Kyra van Kan.

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