ZOLA KONZANI, 1961-2017

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Amateur Scene -

East­ern Cape golf is mourn­ing the loss of 2015 SA Se­nior Ama­teur cham­pion Zola Konzani, 56, af­ter a year-long bat­tle with cancer. Konzani won in style at Hume­wood, by 12 strokes over 72 holes, be­com­ing the first black golfer to win this na­tional ti­tle. He also went to No 1 on the rank­ings. KZN golfer Kevin Cur­ren nick­named him “Umthakathi,” the ma­gi­cian, for his re­mark­able short game. The East­ern Cape hon­oured Konzani by nam­ing him the Sport Elizabeth Home­grown Hero of the Year.

Konzani, sim­i­lar in stature to Gary Player, came to promi­nence in the 2013 SA Se­nior at Fan­court, T-5 in his first ap­pear­ance. That year he proved he’s as fiercely com­pet­i­tive as Player by earn­ing se­lec­tion for three dif­fer­ent East­ern Prov­ince teams, Pre­mier, Mid-Ama­teur and Se­nior. He be­came the first man to play in all three IPTs in the same year. And he went on to win medals at each of them, an equally rare achieve­ment. He helped EP win the Pre­mier B Di­vi­sion at West­lake in 2014, and was in the EP teams which took B Di­vi­sion hon­ours at the 2015 MidA­ma­teur and Se­nior IPTs.

In­ter­viewed in Golf Di­gest in 2013, Konzani said he had been steeped in golf from an early age, as his fa­ther worked on the course at Wedg­wood Park in PE. He played as a young­ster, then gave it up for 30 years to play soccer. He re­turned to golf in 2005.

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