Godfrey Mande may have never won any Uganda Open title as an amateur but he remains one of the most talented and admired local golfers.
In his earlier days as an Entebbe-based amateur, Mande, a natural leftie, successfully changed to play as a right hander after his original clubs became scarce and it is such pedigree that earned him respect among the game’s faithful.
And when he makes a competitive return after six months of inactivity, Mande will be one of the favourites in the Shs5m professionals’ category of the NTV/Aqua Sipi Lady Captain’s Prize tournament at the par-72 Kitante course today.
“I am back,” declared Mande, also a former player on the Sunshine and Asian Tour. “I want to be more active this year. I also want to do well. I have been striking the balls well on the range. I am hopeful about making the money cut.”
Twenty local professionals tee off this morning but only half the field will make the money bracket.
Uganda Professional Golfers Association’s (UPGA) Deo Akope and Dennis Anguyo, fresh from their botched campaigns at the Kenya Open last week, are however, the more fancied favourites in the season-opening event.
“It is true they are the odds-on favourites,” said Mande, who has been practicing at the Palm Valley Golf Resort in Kakungulu. “But other guys like Herman Mutawe, Vincent Byamukama and Emmanuel Opio cannot be written off.”