He boasts an impressive 11 top 10 finishes in Uganda’s most coveted golf event since playing his first Open in 2001.
In between, he has finished third and tied for fourth, the latter coming in 2015. John Paul Basabose has struggled to shed off the tag of being the Uganda Open’s nearly man. But the eternal optimist that ‘Basa’, as he is known in golf circles, has never stopped believing that one day he will end his duck.
Under fine weather at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa yesterday, Basabose shot a three-over 75 to give himself an outside chance of victory.
Basa is now counting for a change in fortunes this time round. “My putting and driving accuracy were on point,” Basa noted. “Putting on the Serena course is crucial because of the size and speed of the greens. The Open has eluded me but Lake Victoria Serena is a different course of world class standard, offering a unique opportunity.”
Basabose plays at Serena regularly and his knowledge of the course will stand him in good stead. “Playing there makes someone make better decisions on different holes, reading the lines and most importantly the speed of the greens.”
Basa, like all golfers, is praying that the conditions are as favourable as they were yesterday with no downpour.
“No golfer can ever get well prepared for a game in rain,” Basa admitted.
Winning the Open will require him to overcome a legion of Kenyans who set pace yesterday but Basa is not being downbeat.
“Let us hope that the weather stays the same. It will give all of us a fair and level ground to compete.” Basa played in the same group with defending champion Otile who posted a poor score of 10-over 82.