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Zambia Open holder doubtful for prestigious tourney

SOUTH AFRICA’S Jaco Ahlers might not defend the 2017 Mopani/ Redpath Zambia Open Golf Championship but eight other former champions are listed to compete in Kitwe next month.

Ahlers, who has played in the last three consecutive tournaments, is not listed on the Sunshine Tour website.
But the field of 99 confirmed golfers for the competition retains its rich reputation and includes six former Zambia Open champions – two Zambia Sugar Open winners and two notable locals – Madalitso Muthiya and Dayne Moore.
Apart from Ahlers and Ross McGowan (2015), every winner of the Zambia Open from 2009 will make the field for the 72-hole competition at Nkana Golf Club in Kitwe from June 1 to 4.
Jbe’ Kruger, who won the tournament at Ndola in 2009, two-time winner Adilson Da Silva (2010 and 2013), Doug McGuigan (2011), Justin Harding and Willie Coetsee in 2012 and 2014, respectively, are the former Zambia Open champions on the list.
All except da Silva of Brazil are from South Africa.
Vaughn Groenewald and Lyle Rowe, both South Africans, are 2015 and 2014 Zambia Sugar champions, respectively, and are penciled for the championship in Kitwe.
To complete the field of 144, the Tour will send invitations to 30 golfers and a further five and 10 slots are reserved for the Zambia Golf Union (ZGU) with the Zambian pair Cosmas Mufaya and Akil Yousuf on the list of reserves.
And Muthiya is listed among 67 golfers to compete in the Lombard Insurance Classic teeing off on Friday at the Royal Swazi Spa Country Club in Swaziland.
The Sunshine Tour has projected a field of 84 for the tournament and the other 15 slots will be filled by qualifiers from the Lombard Insurance Classic qualifier scheduled for Thursday.
Moore and Yousuf are listed to play in the qualifier.