In the end, it was not the best of results. But Team Uganda had less to complain about after scooping bronze at the just-concluded All-Africa Junior Golf Championships in Morocco at the weekend.
The ultimate target was to finish among the top two nations at the 13-team event and qualify for the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup due June in Japan.
Despite the miss, Uganda can boast having made it to the podium for the first time at the competition behind winners South Africa and hosts Morocco.
“The competition was stiff,” team captain Dennis Asaba told Daily Monitor yesterday upon return from North Africa.
Uganda finished with a gross score of 975, only a stroke ahead of Kenya, after four rounds of action at the par-72 Royal Dar-es Salaam Club in Rabat.
“The course had lots of wind and roughs,” Asaba, who tied in 15th place with Tanzanian Hiten Jey on 336 gross the individual leaderboard, explained after showing off his medal on different social media platforms.
And something explains the course problems. “We arrived on the night before the tournament so we couldn’t understand the course right from the beginning,” stated Edrine Okong, who tied in 30th place with Tanzanian Dunia Isiaka on 356 gross.
“Not having a practice round and not taking the game serious,” team manager Oscar Semawere explained the team’s shortcomings. “If we work on the attitude of players, we can easily have the best team in Africa.” Even if the quartet of Asaba, Okong, David Kamulindwa and Joel Basalaine paid dearly in the first round with 96, 86, 82 and 87 respectively on Day One, they worked hard to give the new Innocent Kihika-led Uganda Golf Union executive a fine start.
Basalaine would finish as Uganda’s best in ninth place with 322 and his best score of 75 came on Day Four. “I just worked hard and made sure I was consistent with my routine by coach Amos Kamya and I also did whatever coach Flavia Namakula told me,” he explained.
Another budding star Kamulindwa came in 10th place with 323 and his best score (76) came on Day 2.
1. South Africa 866
2. Morocco 919
3. Uganda 975
4. Kenya 976
5. Zimbabwe 1026
6. Zambia 1037
7. Egypt 1041