Adilson Da Silva won last year’s Zambia Sugar Open at Lusaka Golf Club, and he returns this year in good form to a tournament of the same name which is happening just three weeks after the ‘other’ Zambia Open.
Da Silva eked out a one-stroke victory over Alex Haindl and Martin du Toit with his closing 73 last year, and only a stunning 10-under-par 62 in May 25’s final round of the Lombard Insurance Classic by Christiaan Basson was good enough to keep Da Silva off the top of the final leaderboard in Swaziland.
The Brazilian who lives in Ballito and played most of his professional golf on the Sunshine Tour was concerned he wouldn’t be able to play in Swaziland as he went into the tournament battling a back spasm, but he recovered sufficiently to card rounds of 67-70-65 to share second with Ruan de Smidt, Neil Schietekat and Jake Redman.
Experience in the conditions he will encounter on the 6,608-metre Lusaka Golf Club will count for a lot.
Wallie Coetsee, the man who won the Mopani Copper Mines Zambia Open in Kitwe three weeks ago, is another who will be relishing returning to Zambia. His victory was his first in 17 long years, and it will be fresh in his memory as he takes on the R1.2-million event this week.
Justin Harding is another who has tasted victory recently in Zambia: He won the 2012 Indo Zambia Bank Zambia Open at Lusaka Golf Club by two strokes from Divan van den Heever, and he has started looking like recapturing some of the form that gave him that win – his third on the Sunshine Tour. Harding had a share of second behind Coetsee in Kitwe, and of 13th in Swaziland behind Basson.
The tournament will be played over 72 holes and tees off on Thursday.