Kigo- One week is surely a long time in the world of sport as Kampala-based professional golfer Phillip Kasozi will testify.
From having to grit his teeth enroute to making the cut at the 13th Uganda Professionals Golf Open in Entebbe last week, Kasozi is currently living on ‘Cloud Nine’.
This is after he rallied from a four-stroke deficit to notch the Johnnie Walker Golf Open title by three shots at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort in Kigo on Friday.
Kasozi shot a closing round of two-under par 70 to finish with an overall aggregate of six-over 222 at the lucrative 54-hole strokeplay tournament that had a cash-pot of Shs25m.
“I was dropping many shots in the previous round. Every birdie was cancelled by a bogey,” Kasozi said of his undoing in the previous rounds.
“But I pumped up myself to shoot a 67 today. And see I ended up with 70. I only got three birdies but I even fared better in the undoing column as my round had just a single bogey.”
Kasozi’s birdies were on the par 5 No.8, par 4 No.12 and par 4 No.16, which is stroke index two with his only blip – a bogey – on No.7 which is a long par 3 of 240 yards looking into the dreaded lake waters.
“My bogey problems still exist but if I continue playing fearlessly like this then all will be good.
“Remember I played well in Zambia (Sunshine Tour). I sunk most birdies but was undone with a fair share of bogeys.”
The inaugural Serena Open champion did also have some advice for fellow golfers. “Serena is a good course. Yes, there are water hazards but one should keep them off their minds when playing. Once you strike the ball well off the tee box onto the fairway, you should be able to get rewarded. The greens are true,” said the 2012 Uganda Amateur Open winner.
Kasozi will be hoping that since the 2019 Uganda Open is scheduled for Serena, he can maintain the form and carry it into the prestigious event.
Long-hitting Herman Mutawe and Day Two leader Fred Wanzala, who is also the resident course pro, finished joint second on 225. Mutawe’s undoing was engaging erratic mode on No.17.
There was a large field of 32 elite professionals in the mix for the past three days but only 18 made the money-spinning cut.
The tournament was used by the hotel and club officials to launch their new exotic 18-hole Lake Victorial Serena Golf Resort & Spar – Kigo course.
PROS - FINAL LEADERBOARD
1. Phillip Kasozi 75 77 70 222
T2. Herman Mutawe 75 77 73 225
T2. Fred Wanzala 72 76 77 225
4. Joshua Seale 75 81 71 227
5. Adolf Muhumuza 80 77 71 228
6. Davis Kato 76 78 77 231
7. Abraham Ainamani 77 80 75 232
T8. Abbey Bagalana 80 80 74 234
T8. David Kamulindwa 79 77 78 234
T8. Martin Ochaya 79 76 79 234