By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawi top golf pros, Paul Chidale left for Kenya to participate in that country’s two Safari Tours courtesy of sponsorship from Sunseed Oil, Seedco and NBS Bank
However, Chidale missed the first Tour that started on Sunday, October 4-7 at Limuru Country Club as the Professional Golfers Association Malawi (PGAMW) was assisting him to secure sponsorship but he will join the tournament teeing off on October 10-14 at Royal Nairobi.
Sunseed Oil has provided the return air tickets, Seedco donated US$400 as pocket money while NBS Bank gave US$1,500 as upkeep allowance.
In his vote of thanks to the sponsors, PGAMW president, Gen. Henry Odillo’ Rtd, took cognizance that the “support will open many new opportunities for this young man as well as help develop and boost his professional games experience”.
“On behalf of PGA Malawi, I would like to thank you for sponsoring the player with the return air ticket to Nairobi — your contribution will
enable him to participate in the highly competitive tournaments under Safari tour, which is a qualifying platform for the major European Tour event called Kenya Magical Open, which tees off in March 2021.
“These events will broaden his discipline and character, on and off the field, which is invaluable to his professional endeavours.
“Your contribution is not just a charitable contribution, but is also an advertising opportunity for your company as we take your brand across to all our media partners.
“Once again, on behalf of PGA Malawi, receive our heartfelt vote of thanks for your unwavering support to the development of Professional Golf in Malawi,” Odillo said in a statement.
Chidale stepped up his preparations, together with other potential pros — Moses Simon, Victor Kachepatsonga and others — in anticipation of representing Malawi but luck has fallen on Chidale.
The players’ manager Patridge Shycal said Chidale is in good form as he has been practising throughout the COVID-19 restriction period as the government allowed them to practise since golf is not a contact sport.
“That has given the country’s top pro an advantage in terms of form but missing out the first Tour has him at a disadvantage.
“But we are confident in Chidale as he has performed well in his past experiences in Kenya and Zambia and hopefully he will be able to rise above his game for the two tours,” Shycal said.
Chidale is Malawi’s current number one pro with a lot of experience playing in international tours in Kenya and Zambia together with Simon Moses and Kachepatsonga.
For many years, Malawian golfers have been playing as amateurs and that status forbid them from receiving cash prizes but they were entitled to material prizes like golf-related equipment, television sets, microwaves, trophies and other prizes.
Then it was decided to form the PGAMW in a bid to help top notch golfers earn money from playing golf as it is done in other countries.
PGAMW came up with the Warm Heart Pros Tour two years ago one of the international tours the association pledges to be hosting annually apart from the local tournaments.
Former Army Commander General Henry Odillo retired, is PGAMW’s president, Shycal as vice-president, Sakurai Mbanda as treasurer and Welkam Phiri as legal & corporate affairs director.
Other directors are Chilungamo Chimwaza (tour & player liaison); Dingaan Chirwa (rules & competition); Ben Wandawanda (sponsorships) and Catherine Matura (communications).
Other PGAMW directors include Webster Kaunga, Aboo Mohammed, Chikhulupiliro Mphatso, Abdul Vindhan and Gift Gondwe.