Can Uganda finally make the cut at the prestigious Barclays Kenya Open? Well, that’s a question that many local golf fanatics will be hoping a rejuvenated Dennis Anguyo and wildcard winner Deo Akope can put to bed when action tees off at the beautiful par-72 Karen Country Club in Nairobi.
Akope, who is also the captain of the Uganda Professional Golfers Association (UPGA), will be making his sixth appearance at the season opener of the 2014 European Challenge Tour that has a prize money of Shs695m.
But having fallen several times, many believe that the stage is too grand for Akope and he will need to steal thunder if he is to make the enviable cut because his preparations have been wanting.
“I had given up on playing in this year’s Kenya Open,” said Akope from his Lavington, Nairobi base. “But I know the course inside out and I just need a little luck and avoid three-putts. I know what to do and hopefully it clicks.”
But Phillip Kasozi, the national amateur captain, believes Anguyo, who will be on debut, has the keys to unlock Uganda’s fortune at biggest event in the region.
“He is a changed man,” Kasozi said about Anguyo. “He is also in the form of his life. He needs two scores of two-under to make some money and I will be by his side throughout.”
The event has attracted an elite field of 156 golfers, 22 of them Kenyans, with the winner poised to pocket Shs110m.
Kasozi, alongside Flavia Namakula and Henry Lujja, will have a feel of the Karen turf this morning in the curtain raiser Pro-Am.