Rookie Allan ready for Zambia

Allan Versfeld leads the Sunshine Tour Rookie of the Year race, but will have his maiden victory on his mind at the KCM Zambia Open, which starts on Thursday at Nchanga Golf Club.

Versfeld has recorded four top-10 finishes during 2011, but will aim for the winner’s share of the R1,2-million tournament, which is decided over 72 holes.

A fortnight ago he broke 70 in all three of his rounds at the Platinum Classic to finish the tournament tied third at 14-under-par, looking solid ahead of this week’s event.

The 20-year-old rookie finished second in the 2011 Sunshine Tour Qualifying School and promptly displayed his skill when he tied for seventh at the Africa Open in January.

Versfeld went on to compete on the Vodacom Origins of Golf Tour and at the Pretoria Country Club event in May shot six-under-par for the tournament and took a share of fourth.

At the Vodacom Origins of Golf Sishen event Versfeld finished second, two strokes shy of Adilson Da Silva, the current KCM Zambia Open champion.

Da Silva will not defend his title this week, and after battling against the Brazilian, Versfeld knows he has a real shout at victory in Zambia.

The greens have been soft throughout the week and the lack of bounce favours Versfeld’s accuracy and his skill with irons.

Versfeld holds a R22,629.10 lead in the Rookie of the Year race, and with both JG Claassens and Dean O’Riley not entered for the event, Versfeld can bolster his R462,118.26 career earnings and further stretch his lead.

The Johannesburg Country Club professional also qualified for the second stage of European Tour Qualifying School at Wychwood Park, but needs some winner’s experience should he wish to compete in Europe come 2012.

Versfeld’s rookie year on the tour has been close to impeccable, but the final feather in his cap will be a win, and he will surely hunt it at the Zambia Open.

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