Eastern’s lady golfers Samalie Naikomba and Eva Magala wept uncontrollably after their final rounds on Day Two of the 27th edition of the Castle Lite-sponsored Inter Regions Golf Tournament. Their tears never dried up and despite efforts from their teammates to console them they couldn’t yield quick results as the sobbing went on.
Reason? Eastern had squandered a 12-point lead from Day One to succumb to a third-place finish and the two affable ladies felt their returns were partly to blame for their team’s finish.
Naikomba, a 24-handicapper, shot five shots than her first round return of 74 whereas single-handicapper Magala, who finished as the third best player in her region with an aggregate of 144 nett, failed to repeat her Day One heroics of 68 nett with a round of 76.
“Why has golf treated us (Eastern) like this at our own course?” wondered Naikomba amidst sobs. “How could we fail collectively as a team? I couldn’t do the things I did well on Day One.”
Magala was so infuriated, she couldn’t stand the niceties of the prize-giving ceremony, she opted to driver back home to Entebbe with her husband Patrick Kituuma Magala, who was coincidentally the Eastern captain.
And yet Eastern still produced the best player in Rita Mukasine (h/c 20) with 137 nett. Overall, Eastern’s downcast mood was justifiable as they had fielded 17 Jinja-based players who were expected to dominate as they had superior knowledge of the local conditions.
Buganda (2232) consolidated the second spot, one stroke better than Eastern with Northern, who missed last year’s edition, happy to be back despite tailing with a total of 2359 nett; a marginal 135 strokes off the pace.
For Western, it was all joy and merry-making after they sealed a hat-trick and took the title keeps - their 17th crown in 27 editions. “Some people wrote their speeches after the first round,” Western captain Dr George Bagambisa said after receiving the glass trophy from Hon Minister Daudi Migereko, while mocking Eastern.
“But today is our day again because we have worked hard. We came with 34 players and although only 20 played, it has been the work of a collective unit. We camped in Jinja, won the Eskom Open last week, added the Inter Regions now and we will take a break and be back to win the Sadi Onito Memorial in a fortnight.”
Western fielded a mix of seniors, upcoming stars and national team players to outsmart the other regions enroute to clinching the medal format-based. Castle Lite’s Timothy Kayondo pledged an increased package when Buganda hosts next year’s edition.
Western 2224 nett
BEST PLAYERS PER REGION
Western: Fred Baziraki 137 nett
Buganda: Hussein Bagalana 138 nett
Eastern: Rita Mukasine 137 nett
Northern: Nickson Ambovi 141 nett