Nande makes full recovery, ready for more golfing glory

By Michael Uugwanga

THE country’s top amateur male golfer, Likius Nande, had a rather quiet 2019 due to injuries which saw him missing three major tournaments, the Walvis Bay Open, Eastern Open and Windhoek Open. However, he has described the year 2019 as a successful one as he aims to get back to his winning ways.

Nande, 22, surprised everyone last year when he scooped the MTC Namibia Sports Star of the Year          award at the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Annual Awards ahead of last year’s Commonwealth Games gold medalists Jonas Junias Jonas (boxer) and distance runner Helalia Johannes.

His receipt of the country’s top award was due to his outstanding performances that year when he won the Windhoek Lager Africa Golf Championship in Windhoek, as he competed against the top amateur golfers from 11 southern African countries and completed the 54-hole A division with a four-over-par total of 217.

That was the first time that a Namibian golfer had won the A division, while it capped a great season for then 20-year-old Nande who had won all five Namibian qualifying tournaments going into the Windhoek Lager Africa Championships. In 2017 he won eight of 10 local tournaments and last year he won all five that he competed in.

“This year has been great for me despite having to miss three national tournaments due to injuries. I have so far only competed in five national events this year and I have only won two of them, which includes the Swakopmund Open, winning it for the fifth year in a row. I have also won a silver medal with the national team at the Region 5 Championships in April, which is also our best finish in over five years,” said Nande.

The Swakopmund-born golfer’s road to glory started in 2015 when he won the Coastal Junior Open in Swakopmund before he went on to win the Open Championship in (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018), Mariental Open (2016) Central Open (2017, 2018), Namibian Open (2017, 2018), Rossmund Open (2017), Northern Open (2017, 2018), Spergebiet Open (2017, 2018), Gold Cup (2017, 2018), Windhoek Open (2018), Oranjemund Open (2018), Omeya Open (2017) and the Africa Jacket (2018).

He started playing golf in 2007 after he was introduced to the sport by Eddy Angula, an executive member of Blue Boys Football Club. Nande is a big admirer of former world number 1 golfer Tiger Woods, while locally Trevor Doods, Namibia’s greatest golfer, is someone he looks up to and would like to emulate one day.

After overcome injuries, Nande has set his eyes on winning more titles, including defending the Windhoek Lager Africa Jacket, but he will miss the Omeya Open.

“My aim this year is to successfully defend the Windhoek Lager Africa Jacket in August as I am the only Namibian to win it and now tied for the most wins by a player. I was also voted as the Favourite Sports Personality at The Simply You Magazine Lifestyle and Fashion Award in August.

“I will not be taking part in the Omeya Open on 12-13 October because I will be on duty with Namibia at the All Africa Team Championships in Mauritius in October in the Indian Ocean Championship, but will be playing in the Gold Cup in November, Oranjemund Open in December and the Rossmund Open also in December.

“I am very happy with how things are going so far and I still have few  tournaments coming up before the year ends and I aim to win them all since I am fully recovered and in good form.”