Tuesday, 05 March 2002
The European Challenge Tour moves on to Lusaka this week for the second leg of the 'African Swing' and The Stanbic Zambia Open, a joint-sanctioned event with the Sunshine Tour.

The Stanbic Zambia Open joined the Challenge Tour schedule last year although it is far from being a new tournament. It has a long and distinguished history, going back more than 30 years, and was a favourite destination for European professionals on the former Safari Tour.

Previous winners of the Zambia Open title include Brian Barnes, Tommy Horton, Christy O'Connor Jnr, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam, while Severiano Ballesteros, Darren Clarke, Colin Montgomerie and Vijay Singh played the event in their formative years as professionals.

Lusaka Golf Club, the tournament's regular venue, will again host the tournament with a total purse of 95,000 euro (£57,924), 14,700 euro (£8,963) going to the winner.

Among the field of 150 is previous winner Marc Cayeux from Zimbabwe, who took the title four years ago, but there are four winners from last year's Challenge Tour in Benn Barham, Greig Hutcheon, Sam Little and Andrew Sherborne.

A year ago, England's Mark Foster gave notice of his intention to top the Rankings when he took the title, his maiden victory on the Challenge Tour, and the first of his two tournament successes. The former amateur international and Walker Cup player carded a closing 68 for a total of 278, 14 under par, to edge past Stuart Little, who returned 71, and Jaco Olver from South Africa, who set the target with a brilliant 64.

Starting the final day two strokes off the pace, Foster was soon ahead with a three birdies in an outward 33 and three more coming home saw him overtake Olver. Then it was down to Little. The 33 year old left-hander started one ahead, but a pair of bogeys and a double bogey in an outward 38 left him with a lot to do. Although he responded with an eagle and three birdies in a homeward 33, it wasn't quite enough to deprive Foster.

Olver was a surprise contender, running in nine birdies in a flawless 64 and for much of the day looked like making it a South African victory in successive weeks following Ashley Roestoff's win in Kenya.

While Foster and Little went on to graduate to The European Tour at the end of the season, Olver will be back in Lusaka this week to see if he can go one better this time.

Also in the field are promising Germans, Kariem Baraka and Tino Schuster, Sandeep Grewal, the young Englishman who finished eighth behind Justin Rose in the dunhill championship at Houghton in January, and South Africa's Omar Sandys.

Last year's tournament marked a milestone as far as the Challenge Tour and the Sunshine Tour were concerned as it represented the first joint-sanctioned event between the two tours. Because of the joint-sanctioning, the cut mark will be the leading 60 players and ties.

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