JINJA. Four birdies and one eagle in an unbelievable closing round of five-under 67 from Herman ‘Deco’ Mutebi was talk of the fraternity over the weekend after the Entebbe prodigy won the coveted Eskom Open by six strokes in Jinja.
After falling short by three strokes over the past three years, Mutebi started his campaign with a fluctuating round of six-over 78 that despite having two birdies was foiled by a return of five bogeys and one double bogey on the ‘fateful’ hole No.1.
But Mutebi made up for the slow start with a decisive final round during which despite bogeying No.1 again, and No.6, sparkled with four birdies and a sweet eagle on No.8 to end his fellow pressure group mates (Becca Mwanja, Grace Kasango and Ismail Mahmoodu) interest in the 10th edition of the annual Uganda Golf Union (UGU) sanctioned event.
“This title is going to change my golf career forever,” said Mutebi soon after receiving his trophy, new golf kit and a one-year sponsorship package worth Shs20m from Eskom Uganda Managing Director Thozama Gangi at the well-lit 19th hole of Jinja Golf Club on Saturday.
“I have been a bit unlucky to finish as runner-up in the last three years. Now my dreams are going to come true with this sponsorship. I am hopeful this will inspire me to do well in the upcoming Victoria Cup against Kenya and the Uganda Open, too.”
The YMCA student, the blue-eyed of Ugandan golf, was more relieved after many critics had started pointing a finger at him indicating that his career had stalled.
“I will continue to work hard. I have to work on the consistency of my scores. There is no resting. I want to make the people that have been supporting me since I was a youngster happy. I dedicate my award to them,” said the scratch golfer.
Mutebi’s second Major left renowned names like Tooro’s Adolf Muhumuza and Edrine Okong in his wake whereas Fred Wanzala continued with this early season form to sweep the Shs10m professionals category by two strokes.
Wanzala shot 73 and 75 for a tally of 148 to edge the Jinja-based pair of Emmanuel Opio Onito (150) and Brian Toolit (1510.
Eskom Open Leaderboard
Top Three Amateurs
Herman Deco Mutebi 78 67 145
Adolf Muhumuza 75 76 151
Edrine Okong 74 81 155
Professionals – Top 6
Fred Wanzala 73 75 148
Emma Opio Onito 75 75 150
Brian Toolit 77 74 151
Denis Anguyo 74 78 152
Peter Ssendawula 75 78 153
Deo Akope 78 75 153