Dec. 10, 2001
by Marty Henwood
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. - The flame of a popular rising star on the Canadian Tour will continue to burn brightly with today's unveiling of the inaugural Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Tournament. The announcement was made at a press conference at the Keswick Club in Charlottesville, VA, which will play host to the event from May 9-12, 2002.
Chitengwa graduated from the University of Virginia in 1998, where he was a two-time All-American and captained the golf team. The event purse will be $150,000 Cdn. ($100,000 US), with proceeds from the tournament going to the Lewis Chitengwa Foundation.
Chitengwa, a 26-year old native of Zimbabwe and a rookie on the Canadian Tour, passed away suddenly of meningitis last summer in Edmonton during the TELUS Edmonton Open.
"The Canadian Tour did indeed lose one of its rising stars," said Canadian Tour commissioner Jacques Burelle following the announcement. "But through this tournament and other efforts of the Foundation, Lewis' spirit will stay with us and, I believe, help inspire others to pursue professional golf as a career. Most importantly, his standard of conduct will also influence, in a positive way, the actions of those who will follow. For all that he gave us, we are thankful. For all that he was, we should each try to better ourselves."
Mike Moraghan, now in his 12th year as head golf coach of the University of Virginia, was equally pleased about the event that will bear his former pupil's name.
"Lewis was not only an exceptional golfer, he was an extraordinary human being who was loved and admired by everyone who knew him," stated Moraghan. "He was truly a world citizen who had close friends in many countries. To host a Canadian Tour event in his name here in Charlottesville, a community he loved, is a wonderful tribute to Lewis."
Aventis Pasteur, a world leader in vaccine research, development and production, will be the presenting sponsor of the tournament. The Pennsylvania-based company produces a vaccine for meningococcal disease, the disease that felled Chitengwa in June.
"Indeed it is fitting that this title sponsorship aligns with our mission in preventing as much meningococcal disease as humanly possible," said Den Cullen, Director of College Health Sales for Aventis Pasteur. "We look forward to working with the University of Virginia, the Canadian Tour and the Lewis Chitengwa Foundation in making this event a huge success in its inaugural year."
The complete 2002 Canadian Tour schedule will be announced on Tuesday, December 18.
For more information, visit the Canadian Professional Golf Tour website.