Martha Babirye pulled off a rare move to emerge overall winner at the annual Gadies and Lentlemen Championship at the Uganda Golf Club (UGC) on Saturday.
Playing off handicap 10, Babirye returned 71 nett to beat a field of over 150 players at the GT Bank-sponsored event to claim her second career top prize at the par-72 course in Kitante.
“I feel so happy,” victorious Babirye told this paper shortly after the closing ceremony. But she needed to pull off a heist to earn the delight on a rather cold evening.
“I first played at Jinja in the morning,” she narrated her day. “Then I came to Kitante. It is not something easy. My sponsors Shares (U) Limited did not expect it but I thank them for their support.”
Having returned 85 nett during the final day of the Eskom Open at the nine-hole Jinja course, Babirye turned out in better style at Kitante, shedding off 14 strokes in the process.
More interestingly, Babirye and other ladies had played on the men’s tee-boxes, exchanging with the men as well as with the dress code as so is the vibe with this tournament.
David Ssekitoleko and Rossette Tugume were voted as best dressed lentleman and gady by organisers UGC Ladies’ section led by captain Dr. Mary Ochieng.
“The course in Jinja was dry. Here (Kitante), the greens were better and the morning round seemed more of a practice session.” added Babirye after picking her diadem and prize from GT Bank Managing Director Olufemi Omotoso.
At the podium, Jinja-bred Babirye had been joined by men’s winner John Karionji who had returned 62 nett on count back.
“Today is a great moment for me,” the handicap 19 player Karionji said. “I thank the sponsors for making this possible.
I didn’t know it is so easy to play golf when you’re a lady. I had a chat with a doctor to see if I can have an operation and play from the ladies’ side.” he joked, cracking the audience.