Quality play anticipated at the May Monthly Mug 

NTHAKO MAJORO

MASERU – The captain of Maseru Golf Club Thabang Khabo is hoping for a highly competitive Monthly Mug at the Maseru Golf Club this weekend.

The May Monthly Mug Golf Tournament comes hardly a week after the May Day Tournament held in celebration of the Workers’ Day at the same venue last Saturday, precisely on the Workers Day’s holiday.

The May Day Tournament, which was not the stroke play but rather an individual points stableford, was won by Monono Seturumane.

Seturumane garnered 41 points to claim the victory, with Tlotliso Khabo becoming runner-up with 39 points. This is while Tšenoli Lekoetje claimed the victory in the April Monthly Mug Golf Tournament on the play-offs after he and Itumeleng Khubetsoana garnered net 68 apiece. Lekoetje beat Khubetsoana on the first hole of the play-offs to be crowned the champion.

The club’s captain Khabo said, as a result, the expectation is very high that the May Monthly Mug would be a highly competitive event after last Saturday’s May Day Golf Tournament and the April Monthly Mug Tournament, as well as other previous monthly mug tournaments since his club continued with the competitions even during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Golf, like any other sporting codes, was in the beginning affected by the Covid-19 lockdown which was first announced by the then Prime Minister Thomas Thabane in March 2019.

But eventually the administration of golf in the country was given approval to continue with its sporting activities following the proposal to return to action.

This saw golf being the only sport which was allowed to resume with its competitions since it was said to be a non-contact sport.

Chess was another sporting code which was also allowed to return to action but only when it was played online.

“We continued with the monthly mug tournaments during the Covid-19 lockdown since we got approval and that was simply because golf is a non-contract sport,” said Khabo in an interview with Public Eye on Monday this week.

“As a result, we are expecting a high standard of golf at the upcoming monthly mug tournament this weekend.”

However, golf was again affected by the second Covid-19 lockdown announced by the current Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro in the beginning of this year, before it was again allowed back to action while it was not same case with all other sporting codes in the country.

“Yes, it had once again affected us but later when we made a follow-up we were told to just make a clear proposal and then continue with our activities.

“So we have managed to continue with our monthly mug tournaments; the latest being the April tournament and the next will be the May Monthly Mug Tournament this coming weekend,” said Khabo.

According to Khabo, what has seemed promising lately with local golf is that a number of women seem to be interested in playing golf compared to the previous years when very few of them were eager to become golfers.

“Lately women seem to be joining golf in numbers and as we talk they are being trained (how to play the game) and it is quite a good number of them.”

Khabo said it seemed the women had been inspired by the companies they were working for and who used to sponsor the Maseru Golf Club tournaments.

“As more companies are joining golf, their workers are also following suit unlike before when you would find that when companies joined their staff did not.”

Khabo reiterated: “But lately what I have realised is that people are joining golf because their companies support them.”

On the other hand, Khabo said the challenge his club still had was the lack of junior golfers.

“That’s the challenge we still have but we are already working on a programme for next year and we have to identify some schools which we will be working with in terms of developing junior golfers.”

Khabo said they are expecting between 35 and 36 competitors for this weekend’s May Monthly Mug.

However, he said what may contribute to having fewer competitors on the weekend could be only because of the weather since it is winter.

“Our attendance (competitors’ attendance) was always good as golf had not been (that much) affected by the Covid-19 lockdown like I said.

“So as a result, we are expecting 35 or 36 competitors for the upcoming monthly mug tournament this coming Sunday, and the only reason that may contribute to reduced attendance could be because it is winter.”

This paper has been reliably informed that among golfers who will compete for the title of the May Monthly Mug is the winner of the April Monthly Mug, Lekoetje.

 

 

 

 

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