Three struggling tour players have to
Pay their own way in pro tournaments
Top black golfers have complained about the lack of sponsorships that, they say, is hampering their progress. Sunshine Tour players Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Sipho Bujela and Teboho Sefatsa believe they could have made considerable progress in their golfing careers if they had received adequate financial backing.
The trio, widely considered the best top black golfers in the country, raised local expectations when they broke on to the big stage.
But they have not yet made an impression in the big league.
Nethunzwi (26) and Bujela (25), who are members of the Soweto Country Club, graduated to the elite tour two years ago.
But the pair has not won a single event on the demanding circuit, as they either missed the cut or finished poorly in big tournaments.
Sefatsa (31), from Germiston on the East Rand, first campaigned in the professional arena in 2003.
He has performed better than Nethunzwi and Bujela in the elite ranks.
Sefatsa’s best year was in 2012 when he won the BMG Classic at Glendower Golf Club – his maiden title as a professional.
He also finished in the top 10 in a number of contests in the same year.
However, his good showing on the fairways stopped there.
Nowadays, he is battling to make a mark on the greens.
While competition is undoubtedly tough at professional level, Nethunzwi, Bujela and Sefatsa all agree that a lack of financial backing has been their main challenge – and it has also had an adverse effect on their performances on the greens.
Nethunzwi is firmly of the opinion that his performance on the Sunshine Tour has been below par because of a lack of funds, which has limited his ability to travel and compete in big events countrywide.
“As a fully fledged pro, one needs financial backing to be able to compete. My biggest challenge is that I can’t travel to faraway places to play. It’s tough to pay out of your pocket to cater for your needs on the tour.
“I have had to forgo several events because I have no one sponsoring me,” said Nethunzwi, who missed the cut in the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in February.
He has now decided to take on a job coaching amateurs at the World of Golf in Woodmead, Johannesburg.
“At least the little money I get at the academy helps me whenever we play on the tour events around Gauteng.
“I hope things will be great for us black players in the near future and we’ll start winning on the tour,” said Nethunzwi.
Bujela said it would be ideal for companies to sponsor more black players.
“A group of businesspeople used to help me financially, especially when I travelled countrywide to compete.
“But things changed when my performance dropped.
“I’m hopeful that things will soon be fine for me and other black players as well,” he said.
Sefatsa noted that it would be ideal for more players to have the financial muscle to enable them to participate and
SEEKING Musiwalo Nethunzwi has not yet been able to make his mark on the Sunshine Tour