Finally, Ugandan professionals shed some skin but still only five made the cut at half-way stage of the ongoing Pam Golding Safari Open at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort & Spa in Kigo.
Of all, brothers Becca Mwanja and Abbey Bagalana wore the biggest smiles on Day Two as they made the top 20 positions for the first time at the Safari Tour Series event.
“God is great,” Mwanja reacted. By the time action wraps up today, the former national team captain will have scored first points on the Tour.
“I am relieved,” said the man from Uganda Golf Club. “I played four Tour events without scoring points before getting here. I have been speaking to some top Kenyan players like Jastas Madoya who won the Entebbe Open and even Indiza (Dismas) on how to improve my game.
“Indiza is 50 years old but he told me he wakes up to play golf eight hours a day. Madoya trains for six days a week and he advised me to have a hole-by-hole plan rather than focusing on an opponent’s scores or reading into the next hole early.”
Whereas Mwanja is assured of part of the $10000 (Shs37m), his position counts. “I want to finish really strong as the Tour points are vital before we go to the next leg in Naivasha,” added the 26-year-old.
The Tour is the road to the Magical Kenya Open due March at Karen Country Club, which is part of PGA European Tour circuit and Phillip Kasozi who also made the cut, leads Uganda’s charts in 12th place on 96.5 points.
The other five Ugandans with Tour points already; Abraham Ainamani, Silver Opio, Opio Onito Jr, Deo Akope and Brian Toolit, all did not make the cut in Kigo.
Kasozi made the cut tied 15th and he remains upbeat. “My game is not perfect now but by end of Saturday (today), I hope to have moved up,” he said.
Of those who made the cut, only Kasozi, Bagalana and Mwanja are part of the Tour while Ronald Rugumayo and Herman Deco Mutebi are not registered.
Focus for the title is centered on Kenyans; Indiza, solid Edwin Mudanyi, David Wakhu and Madoya. “See you in the pressure group on Saturday (today),” the latter, from Naivasha, promised.
PAM GOLDING SAFARI OPEN
Ugandans who made the cut Deco Mutebi