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Local golfer upbeat despite poor start

Teboho Molapo


MASERU — Lesotho’s foremost professional golfer Motlalentoa Moloi says he is satisfied with his game despite a poor start to the 2010 season.

Moloi competes on the prestigious Sunshine Tour, a professional golf series played in the Southern African region, but is still to finish among the Top 10 of any tournament which he largely attributes to lack of a strong financial base.

The 39-year-old, who turned pro in 2004, endured another frustrating year in 2009, only participating in 10 of 25 Tour events, missing the cut on five occasions.

However, speaking to the Sunday Express on Monday, Moloi remained upbeat.

“To be honest, I’m happy with my game despite the problems I have had (and) I feel I am improving,” he said.

Moloi, who took part in the Letšeng Diamonds Invitational Golf Day last Friday said he planned to compete at the 2010 Africom Zimbabwe Open, which begins in Harare on April 21.

The week before, Moloi will be coaching Lesotho’s team at the Zone VI Golf Games in Botswana.

Moloi also intends to attend the Vodacom Business Origins of Golf Championship in Clarens, South Africa, which starts a week after the Zimbabwe Open.

So far this season, Moloi has not managed to progress past three pre-tournament qualifiers.

“If I can manage to play 15 tournaments this year, then I will be satisfied. You have to play regularly to be able to gain a feel of the game and to trust yourself.

“It improves your performance when you play on a regular basis, which is what I have not been able to do in the past,” Moloi said.

Last year, Moloi oversaw a professional finishing school for four hopefuls, Baitsi Motsamai, Tieho Mochebelele, Tlotliso Khabo and Tung-Nan Lin. However, because of school commitments, Khabo and Lin did not gain their professional cards.

“They (Motsamai and Mochebelele) are playing very well. It’s more frustrating when you are a professional and you don’t get the necessary support,” Moloi said.

“If we don’t find a stable sponsor, then little can change.

“This current break is the time when we should be training, but the only practice we get is when we go to tournaments and that is just for one day,” Moloi added.

With the costs of taking part in each tournament averaging at least M5 000, life as a professional is difficult.

But the three golfers are being helped by Lesotho’s former golf captain Kelly Lerotholi, who has been acting as the players’ manager.

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