First-time champion in Namibian Open

Andrew Poolman
The ever-prestigious 2024 Namibian Open tournament was held over two days at Windhoek Golf Club last weekend.

Elias Mulombwelwa, a well-known A division player from the host club playing off a plus-0.3 handicap index, won the sought-after title for the first time in his career.

Mulombwelwa, as the over-night leader by two shots, finished his three rounds (75, 71, 71) with a one-under-par final round, narrowly holding off the challenge of Walter Heibeb, from Tsumeb Golf Club, who finished three shots behind him (74, 74, 72).

Overall third-best was the multiple former champion Werner Lassen (76, 75, 72), six shots behind the winner.

Among the pre-tournament favourites that did not fire on the weekend were fifth-placed Brendan Britten, Kyle Johnson (seventh), Edwin Kutara (eighth) and 13th-placed Stefanus Bonifatius.

Players in the A and B divisions played 54 holes over two days (36 and 18) whereas the C, ladies and stableford divisions only played 36 holes (18 per day).

Seventy-seven players participated in total, representing clubs from Walvis Bay (8), Swakopmund (3), Tsumeb (4), Grootfontein (3), Oshakati (1), Mariental (2) Omeya (11) and Windhoek (45).

Top results were as follows:

Overall winner (best gross): 1 Elias Mulombwelwa (217), 2 Walter Heibeb (220).

Overall best nett: 1 Elkana Mbango (217), 2 Samuel Nel (218).

A Division best gross: 1 Werner Lassen (223), 2 Kevin Wentzel (226).

A Division best nett: 1 Jackson Kawaya (220), 2 Jason Zulch (223).

B Division best gross: Jonas Katti (244), 2 Meriki Shoozi (247).

B Division best nett: 1 Alfie Ndyenge (220), 2 Mervin Nangolo (226).

C Division best gross: 1 Monty Rukoro (167), 2 Ewald Steenkamp (168).

C Division best nett: 1 Elvin Kamana (142), 2 JP le Grange (143).

Overall Ladies winner (best gross): 1 Wilmari Woest (171), 2 Doulaine Holtzhausen (181).

Overall ladies best nett: 1 Suene Venter (141), 2 Dina Holtzhausen (144).

Ladies A Division best gross: 1 Ruanda de Beer (183).

Ladies A Division best nett: 1 Brenda Lens (157).

Ladies B Division best gross: 1 Hester Walters (194).

Ladies B Division best nett: 1 Tiekie de Wet (148).

Stableford division winner: 1 Jolene van Schoor (71 points), 2 Emiloio Maboh (68), 3 Walter Bredenhann (63).

Nearest to the pin prizes on Sunday were won by Gerd Liebenberg (hole 3), Elias Mulombelwa (hole 9), Keith Gardiner (hole 13) and Werner Lassen (hole 17). The ladies’ prize for longest drive on hole 18 was taken by Wilmari Woest.

Without a title sponsor

The Namibian Open went ahead despite organisers’ failed efforts to secure a title sponsor, of which FNB Namibia was the most recent.

Toady Gurirab, president of NAGU, thanked the WGC management and golf committees and all staff in organising the event.

Cehesta Walters, vice-president of NALGU, also thank everyone for their endeavors and the ladies’ increased participation.

The NAGU and NALGU thanked the following entities for generous sponsorships, in no specific order Momentum, ABInBev, MUMI Investment Managers, Catalyst Investment Managers, UMOJA Assurance Services, Document Management Solutions, The Beauty Bar and Ananymous.

The host club captain Gustav Jung thanked all players, the starters Trevor Britten, Wilfried Emvula and Joseph Martin, as well as tournament referee Joe Nawanga and expressed congratulations to the winners.

• On Saturday 18 May, the club will host the second Battle of Social Groups.