It is always hard to outdo the works of women especially in the aftermath of an extremely successful Uganda Golf Club (UGC) season opener – the Lady Captain’s Prize tournament that was won by Maria Difonzo last weekend.
But outgoing captain Charles Katarikawe, who will be replaced by either Paul Baite or Henry Rugambwa when Uganda’s premier golf club holds its elective assembly on Thursday, put up more than a decent show for his official farewell Hima Captain’s Prize tournament.
Jinja-bred Becca Mwanja, 21, was the fitting star of the show after shooting an unmatched 69 nett to leave a large field of 240 players in his wake.
“This is exactly what I set out to do,” said the handicap-four golfer after receiving his trophy from Hima Cement General Manager Daniel Pettersson. “Every time I set foot on the course my objective is to play the best I can even when I find myself in trouble while in the rough and bunkers. This victory gives me momentum heading into what is going to be an action-packed season.”
Mwanja’s closest challengers for the title UGC trustee George Egaddu (Group C winner) and Vincent Katutsi (Group B winner) trailed by one shot, who carded 70 nett apiece.
Katarikawe, though, was a man of few words on his last night as captain.
“I am just here to celebrate with my family and thank Hima who have sponsored this tournament since 2002,” said the elderly golfer, who shot 75 nett while playing off handicap 12.
The special Past Captains’ category was scooped by Dr Joel Okullo Odom, who enjoyed two terms in 2008-2009. Odom stroked 73 nett to beat the duo of Charles Kareba and John Kisembo (76) by three shots.
The outgoing Lady Captain Aggie Konde and her successor Katy Kabenge also put on a mini show by winning the Longest Drive and Nearest to the Pin accolades. Fusion Band and Desire Luzinda entertained the guests but the merry-making continued in the wee-hours of Sunday morning.
Kagyenzi, Mawejje in
Meanwhile, after several consultations, national amateur golf team coach Deo Akope has decided to include the pair of Gideon Kagyenzi and Joseph Mawejje in this week’s final trials starting today at Kitante.
The trials will be aimed at selecting a nine-man team that will represent Uganda at the Africa Zone VI Golf Championships due April13-18 in Cape Town, South Africa.
The two players had been left out because they were over the age of 35 set by Uganda Golf Union (UGU) for the national trials.
“They are solid and steady players,” said Akope. “It was general consensus that let them have a fair chance to compete.”
The 24 players have been grouped in six groups of four and each winner will make the team. The runners up will face off for two slots with the ninth play handpicked by the captain Phillip Kasozi and coach as a wildcard.
LEADERBOARD HIMA CAPTAIN’S PRIZE
M: Becca Mwanja 69 nett
W: Jie Wie 67
Group winners (men)
A: Phillip Kasozi 74 nett c/b
B: Vincent Katutsi 70
C: George Egaddu 70
D: Bashir Ansasira 71
M: Joseph Mawejje 76
W: Flavia Namakula 76
Group winners (women)
Harriet Kitaka 70 nett
Njambi Karubio 70 nett
Hima Guest Winners:
W. Kusemererewa 70 nett
Joseph Otwane 77 c/b
Okullo Odom 73 nett
Charles Kareba 76 c/b
John Kisembo 76
Fred Wanzala 70*
*Won sudden death
playoff on No.12