Champion black South African golfer, Vincent Tshabalala, was among leading players who hit off in the Piccadilly Medal golf tournament which started at Finham Park, Coventry, U.
Champion black South African golfer, Vincent Tshabalala, was among leading players who hit off in the Piccadilly Medal golf tournament which started at Finham Park, Coventry, U.K. on Wednesday (12 May). The tournament runs until Saturday (15 May) and has a total prize fund of 40,000 pounds sterling (74,000 U.S. dollars).
Last week Tshabalala won the French Open golf championship and in doing so became the first negro to win a major golfing event in Europe. It was the 35-year-old champion's first major victory, although he has won the South African Black Open four times.
Two years ago Tshabalala was working as a motor mechanic and attributes much of his success to his mentor, world champion golfer, Gary Player.
Player has kept a close watch on his protege and two years ago sponsored a trip for him to the Untied States. He also started a fund to finance Tshabalala's current trip to Europe.
On Wednesday the new champion spoke to Visnews reporter William L. Ward at Finham Park. He said Player was the first man he would thank for his success. He also praised Player for the way he helped everyone - black or white - in South Africa to improve their golf and the game in general.
Asked if he believed his own success would be a stepping stone towards greater integration of multi-racial golf in South Africa Tshabalala said he wouldn't comment but felt things were definitely improving on this front in his homeland.
This film is serviced with an interview in English with Vincent Tshabalala by Visnews reporter William L. Ward. A transcript appears below.