MADAL­ITSO MUTHIYA

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life -

AGE 33 BORN Kitwe, Zambia RE­SIDES Lusaka, Zambia; Four­ways, Gaut­eng CA­REER The first Zam­bian to win on the Sun­shine Tour with vic­tory in July at the Vo­da­com Ori­gins Wild Coast Sun event. At­tended the Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico on a golf schol­ar­ship and grad­u­ated with an ecowno­hem­re­ic­sshaen­fidrsbt utosoinkess man­u­apgge­omlf eant e be­fore turn­ing pro in 2005. Played the Cana­dian Tour be­fore earn­ing a Web.Com Tour card by reach­ing the fi­nal stage at the 2008 PGA Tour Q School. Fin­ished 41st on the 2015 Sun­shine Tour Or­der of Merit with five top-10s.

ON NOT BE­ING MIS­TAKEN FOR TIGER WOODS

Tommy Ar­mour III was a pop­u­lar fig­ure on the PGA Tour and a fel­low alum­nus from the Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico, who I met at an an­nual event at our col­lege.When I qual­i­fied for the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot near NewYork he ar­ranged for me to play a prac­tice round with Tiger Woods. We were due to play early on Mon­day morn­ing, and when I ar­rived there were al­ready thou­sands of fans wait­ing to see Tiger. But in the wake of his fa­ther’s death a month ear­lier, he didn’t make it in time and I played alone.Through­out my en­tire round there were au­di­ble gasps of ‘That’s not Tiger Woods!’

ON BE­ING IDEN­TI­FIED AS A FU­TURE TAL­ENT BY THE ZAM­BIAN PRES­I­DENT

My fa­ther (Peter) was in­volved with golf ad­min­is­tra­tion in Lusaka and was friends with the Zam­bian Com­mis­sioner of Se­cu­rity, who of­ten saw me play at Lusaka Golf Club. He told Pres­i­dent Fred­er­ick Chiluba about me, and in turn he ar­ranged a trip to Amer­ica for me to play in a ju­nior tour­na­ment in Florida. I won the event’s 16-18-year-old cat­e­gory and was re­cruited by the Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico.

ON GET­TING THE NICK­NAME ‘MAD DOG’

If there was one guy at col­lege who I thought would def­i­nitely make it as a pro it would be Jay Reynolds, but he never kicked on after grad­u­at­ing. My team­mates had a hard time pro­nounc­ing my name so I was called Maddy or Moo-Moo. Jay came up with ‘Mad Dog’ – which was done with to­tal af­fec­tion.

ON TRAV­EL­LING ON A ZAM­BIAN PASS­PORT

I’ve had some try­ing times. First of all, South Africa doesn’t recog­nise skilled in­ter­na­tional ath­letes, so I’ve had a tough time try­ing to get res­i­dency, or even a work per­mit, here. Cur­rently I have to travel back to Lusaka ev­ery three months. I ar­rived in Los An­ge­les once with a dis­crep­ancy in my visa and was held in a de­ten­tion area of the air­port. For­tu­nately the im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cer was a golfer, so he did a search on­line and saw that I had played in the US Open. I was able to pay a $300 waiver and leave im­me­di­ately. That de­ten­tion area is not a place you want to spend a night.

ON THE RE­SPON­SI­BIL­ITY OF BE­ING THE ZAM­BIAN NO 1

Bobby Locke and Gary Player cre­ated a legacy for South African golf that was passed on to Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, and then Trevor Im­mel­man, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen. I have al­ways rep­re­sented my coun­try with pride and feel like I have a duty to in­spire fu­ture Zam­bian golfers. I would love to play in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

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