Ndwandwe to swing his way to the top

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Lindani Ndwandwe is likely to spring a surprise win in this weekend's Eskom Power Cup at Peacanwood Estate and Country Club.

The 54-hole tournament, to be be contested by 72 players, tees off at Hartbeespoort Dam from tomorrow to Sunday.

Ndwadwe, who is on top of his game, missed the Finance Bank Zambia Open by a stroke at Ndola Country Club on March 31. The event was won by Steve Basson.

The Nongoma-born Ndwandwe, who turned professional in December 1998, became the first black golfer to win on the Sunshine Tour in almost a decade when he claimed the 2001 Western Cape Classic.

In 2006, he finished fourth at the SAA Pro-Am Invitational in Cape Town and second at the Suncoast Classic, on his home course. But the rest of the year was a struggle for the 32-year-old and he slipped to 57th on the Order of Merit.

He missed the cut in his first two starts in the 2007 season, but tied for 28th at the Nashua Masters and 28th at the Mount Edgecombe Trophy. Lali Stander, the Sunshine Tour media manager, said Ndwandwe was a good golfer and always on the fairways.

"He is accurate and has a good touch around the green. He is always working on his game.

"But the lack of sponsorship is holding most of the black golfers, including Ndwandwe, back. This kind of thing makes it difficult for a golfer to perform and be consistent. But he has the potential to win this one, once he can put his mind to it and concentrate," said Stander.

Ndwandwe's biggest dream is to finish the 2007 season higher than 15th on the final money list and set a new record for black professionals since Vincent Tshabalala finished 15th in 1976.