Mopani Copper Mines is the title sponsor of this year’s Zambia Open, which heads to Nkana Golf Club for the first time since in its inception in 1972. With tight fairways and tricky landing areas on the greens this week’s course is the perfect venue for 2012 Zambia Open champ Doug McGuigan to win again.
The 43-year-old is coming back into form this year and has made the weekend in each of his last six starts. A tie for 24th at the Investec Royal Swazi Open last week is his latest result, and with six Sunshine Tour wins under his belt the time and place is right.
McGuigan has also accrued 60 top-10s during a career spanning 25 years, so his experience and ability to contend will be useful at a course that is essentially a blank canvas for the Sunshine Tour professionals.
The Ebotse Golf & Country Estate professional watched a fellow club member, Danie van Tonder, win his maiden title at the Swazi Open last week. He’ll be keen to make it two wins in two weeks for the Gauteng club.
Van Tonder finally broke through and is in a good run of form, which makes him a solid contender this week. His unorthodox swing and personal brand of golf make him one of the most exciting youngsters on tour.
But Nkana Golf Club is a course that rewards accuracy, and players like Christiaan Basson come to the fore under those conditions. The 32-year-old from Cape Town won both of his Sunshine Tour titles on courses that played less than 6750 metres long. Great short game and adaptability make Basson a perfect contender for this week.