UNITED STATES-BASED Zimbabwean amateur golfer Sean Crocker started the year on a high after rallying from behind to win the San Diego Amateur Tournament hosted by Callaway Golf in Carlsbad, California on Sunday.
Crocker showed tremendous fighting spirit as he rebounded from a first round 75 to post a tournament low 67 on Sunday to win the 36-hole event by two shots.
The 18-year old rising star, who had a memorable debut season on the US college golf circuit for the University of Southern California (USC) in 2014, attributed the win to a solid all-round game on the final day of the tournament.
“I drove the ball a lot better, hit more greens, and my putter got hot,” Crocker said.
According to reports from the US, so impressive was Crocker on Sunday that at one point, he had six one putts in a row, which included a string of birdies from holes 15 to 17.
He followed that with a par on the difficult par four 18th before bogeying his last hole of the day. Crocker’s fellow teammate at USC Jonah Texeira took solo second place at 144 (73-71) with San Kevin Cline and 17-year-old Shrish Dwivedi tied for third place at 146.
Meanwhile, a big contingent of six Zimbabwean golfers namely Dale Howie, Greg Bentley, William Lake, Mark Williams, Sean Farrell and Sheldon Steyn will be hoping to start the year on a positive note when they compete in the pre-qualifying rounds of the prestigious South African Open Championship today.
Williams and Bentley, will take part in the pre-qualifier at Kempton Park Golf Club alongside 121 other hopefuls, while Farrell and Lake will compete in another pre-qualifier for the same tournament at Irene Golf Club.
On the same day, former Harare Open champion Howie and Steyn will feature in the other pre-qualifier at the Zwartkop Country Club where they will battle it with 123 other hopefuls.
Should the six Zimbabwean golfers excel during the pre-qualifiers they will join compatriot Ryan Cairns, who qualifies automatically for the main field of the prestigious South African Open Championship scheduled to tee off on Thursday at Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg.