Kampala. Herman Mutawe leads the professionals by two shots after he returned one-under 70 on Day One of the 21st JBG Open in Entebbe yesterday.
As JBG showpiece’s 21st edition was launched on the bright morning in Lugogo, Mutawe as well launched his sounding bid for the Shs20m purse.
The calm player produced five birdies but his round too carried four bogeys. It was however good enough to lead the 30-man field at the par-71 course.
“The game was somehow fair,” Mutawe described his opening round that had him enjoy the par-3s, picking birdies on No.6, 10 and 16.
Two other birdies were on par-5s No.15 and 18. But he struggled with bogeys on Holes No. 5, 8, 13 and 17.
Nevertheless, Mutawe is two shots ahead of Gerald Kabuye and Abraham Ainamani who are tied second on one-over 72. Mutawe wants to consolidate his effort and savour delight which he last attained when he beat Silver Opion 2-up on the par-4 No.17 (2/1) to win the Singleton Professionals Challenge in July at Entebbe. “I did well on the short holes but I can even save more strokes on the longer holes and hang in there,” Mutawe added.
As the pros and 20 other amateurs braced the action yesterday, JBG had its official launch at the Gauff Engineering offices with the theme: ‘Engineering with a drive to the future’.
“It will be an honour and pleasure to come here in five years and JBG is still on,” Gauff Engineering managing director Emmanuel Mugamba said at the press conference.
“It is great to see the tournament celebrate 21 years,” he said before announcing that JBG founder Helmut Gauff will attend the prize giving in Entebbe tomorrow.
To honour JBG’s long-term relationship, Entebbe Club honoured the engineering firm by naming par-4 Hole No.1 in names of founder Helmut in 2014 and par-3 No.10 in Mugamba’s name.
“Words can’t express how much we want to thank JBG for the 21-year relationship. Like the theme, Entebbe club has a future and JBG has a future.”
According to Entebbe captain Edwin Tumusiime, a field of 190 players is expected to grace the course in the stableford format on Saturday. “We have just hosted the Uganda Open and the course is immaculate,” Tumusiime stated.
Day one leaderboard
1 Herman Mutawe 70
T2 Gerald Kabuye 72
T2 Abraham Ainamani 72
T4 Opio Onito 73
T4 Deo Akope 73
T6 Denis Anguyo 74
T6 Phillip Kasozi 74
T6 Happy Robert 74
RECENT AMATEUR WINNERS
2017: Jude Ocheng
2016: Edwin Tabaro
2015: Ibrahim Bagalana
2014: Shou-Ta Wang
2013: Timothy Okwi
2012: Willy Kitata
2011: Joseph Bogera
2010: Steven Odongo
2009: Godwin Eyoki
2008: Silver Opio
2007: Peter Ssendawula