Zimbabwe is hosting the All-Africa Amateur Team Golf Championship for the first time with players from 20 countries expected to feature in the continental golf showcase
KAMPALA- Many will question the levels of determination for Team Uganda after the contingent arrived in Zimbabwe for the All-Africa Amateur Team Golf Championship (AATGC) without a coach or team manager on Saturday.
And even if Uganda Golf Union (UGU) president Johnson Omollo and general secretary Bernard Mbayo arrived at the Victoria Falls on Sunday, there are still specks of doubt on Uganda’s title ambitions.
Yesterday, Mbayo could afford to tell this paper Uganda were better prepared having arrived a day before tournament favourites South Africa.
But the absence of coach Amos Kamya, who helped Uganda lift four East Africa Challenge titles over the last eight years, on reported grounds of financial hitches, is another key factor.
However, Chairman of Pinnacle Security Limited Moses Mastiko is in the team camp as manager and all hope the four-man team led by reigning Uganda Open champion Ronald Rugumayo can fashion a good start at the Elephants Hills Golf Club today.
“This is a stroke play event,” Mbayo stated. “The input of the coach is not much but we would have loved to have him here. Resources did not allow. Everyone else including officials paid for their tickets.”
If Rugumayo’s sleek putting in the run-up to his Uganda Open triumph resurfaces on the dry course at Elephant Hills, the team has something has to build on.
Solid Ronald Otile, who finished behind Rugumayo at the Open, boasts of experience at AATGC having taken second place overall on the individuals’ leaderboard as Uganda came fifth at the par-72 Limuru Country Club in Nairobi two years ago.
Otile’s South Africa-based partner Daniel Baguma, fifth at the Open, is equally capable of a neat round as showed at the same competition in the junior ranks four years ago.
Similarly, Ismail Mahmoud’s mental character could have even earned a place better than sixth at the Uganda Open only let down by consistency.
Uganda will face familiar faces from 2015 runners-up Kenya like John Karichu (Limuru), Edwin Mudanyi (Vet Lab), Mutahi Kibugu (Muthaiga) and Alfred Nandwa (Railway) who won the Victoria Cup in Entebbe three months ago. Mudanyi finished ninth at Uganda Open.
Defending champions South Africa are favourites at the 20-nation showpiece.
Ronald Rugumayo (C)