Takudzwa Chitsiga — AMATUER golfer Arnold Burasho was the surprise package as he managed to make the cut for the 2017 Zimbabwe Open golf tournament after he carded a one-under 71 in the pre-qualifiers at Royal Harare yesterday.
The top amateur playing off one handicap was among more the 50 professionals who were fighting for the last top eight slots for the finals which will begin tomorrow at Royal Harare.
Burasho formerly of Norton Country Club joined Mairos Katembenuka a professional to be the only local who managed to make it as the other six slots were taken by South Africans.
The 21-year-old was naturally happy to be part of the final field and will be aiming to make it into the weekend.
"I give credit to Mike Bawlis my coach who took me under his wing in 2012 and I am happy that I am progressing well.
"I feel great after a long time trying my luck and I finally managed to make it to the big stage. I will do my best to make it into the final field after the cut," said Burasho.
Burasho reckoned that his knowledge of the Royal Harare course helped him so much as he knew where to place the ball.
"Being a player at Royal Harare helped me so much as I managed to make the cut. I have been a player here at Royal Harare and during my first nine I struggled a bit but in the second nine I had gained composure to shoot a 36.
"I managed three birdies on the way and it gave me confidence so I now look forward to the coming week. I hope to make it into the weekend," Burasho said.
A number of local professionals who were not among the 16 automatic Zambezi Tour entries were involved in the pre-qualifiers.
At least 137 professional golfers from different tours around the world will battle it out in the country's flagship golf tournament from tomorrow.
The golfers will be battling for a piece of the R1.8 million winners' purse.
For the second successive time, the qualifiers were held at Royal Harare as the last five editions had been staged at Chapman Golf Club.