KABALE- Veteran Steven Katwiremu fired a warning shot ahead of this year’s Uganda Open by notching the first edition of the Johnnie Walker Kabale Golf Open title by four strokes on Easter Eve.
At 58, the Rwandan turned back the clock with a near-perfect round of 75 at the mountainous and challenging par-68 Kabale Sports Club course leaving a full house of youthful amateurs in his wake.
“This is just a sample,” said chit-chatty handicap five golfer after receiving his glittering trophy from Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) Marketing Director Grace Nshemeire at the bubbly awards ceremony held at White Horse Inn in Kabale that ended in the wee hours of Easter Sunday morning.
“If I can play like this now, then they (youngsters) should wait for me at the Tusker Uganda Open. I want to win it and then I will also give them a chance. This trophy is result of my exposure and experience as I have played competitively on courses allover Africa.”
Handicap 14 golfer Moses Alinda (men’s Group winner 65 nett) and 12-handicapper Alex Mugisha (second runner-up men’s Group B, 67 nett), both Kabale-bred talents, were Katwiremu’s closest challengers with similar rounds of 79 gross.
Flavia Namakula didn’t play her best golf in recent times but still took the ladies gross crown with a less-than-average shift of 14-over-par 82. Gloria Mbaguta was five shots off Namakula’s pace. The Shs5m money-spinning category was scooped by Jinja-based Emmanuel Onito Opio, who was unrivalled with two rounds of 66 and 72 for an aggregate of 138 to win by a marginal 10 strokes.
“My journey from Jinja to Kabale is a testimony of my endurance,” said the 23-year-old son to legendary 12-time Uganda Open winner Sadi Onito (RIP) and brother to two-time winner Charles Yokwe (RIP). “I am happy I didn’t disappoint everyone who has been supporting me. I dedicate this to my late dad and brother and I vow to keep fighting for our legacy.”
The two-day event attracted at least 64 amateurs and 12 professionals. UBL’s Nshemeire gave the desired partying shot before the dinner-dance party after announcing that UBL will come back next year and continue to sponsor the event annually.
M: Steven Katwiremu 75
W: Flavia Namakula 82
Group winners (men)
A: Gilbert Kiiza 72 nett
B: Moses Alinda 65 c/b
C: Julius Turyatemba 76
Group winners (women)
A: Sheila Kesiime 74 nett
B: Gertrude Namukasa 67
Professional s – Top 4
Emmanuel Opio Onito 138
Dennis Anguyo 148
Silver Opio 148
Vincent Byamukama 148