ENTEBBE. Golf is indeed a game of civility. laid bare his gentle side as the curtains came down on an engrossing Season Three of the Singleton Golf Challenge at Entebbe Club on July 14.
Lutwama showered his partner Robert Busingye with never-ending praises during his vote of thanks speech after the illustrious combo was crowned champions on a Black Tie Night codenamed ‘Night At The Oscars’ after their 1-up victory against the enthusiastic partnership of Geoffrey Orach and Andrew Atuhaire.
Played ended on the ‘19th’ hole (first sudden-death playoff hole) after the two couldn’t separate each other after a full round of 18 holes.
“Many people really wanted us to win it and winning the championship is really relief for us,” said Lutwama, who was a double champion on the day as he had also earned his PhD earlier in the day.
“But I want to thank my partner (Busingye) for pulling off some tough putts and nailing several wonderful shots. The pressure was unbelievable especially for me as Busingye carried me for the first seven holes before I could find rhythm.
“But I would like to thank our opponents for their persistence. They matched our pars for pars and birdies for birdies. They never gave up and had answers for each one of us. We just waited for them to make a mistake and when they made one, we won.”
The truth, though, remains that it was Lutwama, who actually had the final say after his par on the first hole of sudden death playoff sealed victory with both Orach and Atuhaire bogeying the par-5 hole.
The reward for the champions is Two Nights For Two apiece, a tour of Dubai City and watching the breathtaking Dubai Desert Classic Golf Championship, one of the biggest golfing events in the Middle East that has been won twice by the legendary Tiger Woods, in January 2020.
Runners up Atuhaire and Orach’s consolation was return air-tickets to Mombasa and accommodation for two each courtesy of co-sponsors RwandAir and Serena Hotel.
On a night of unusually many but deserved winners; second and third runners up, Charles Odere & Samuel Kato plus Kiwanuka Ssuubi and Timothy Mwanda picked up tickets to Cape Town and London respectively.
The best and most consistent players in the subsidiary category over the last three months; Mackie Nasser, Patrick Mugisha, Irene Nakalembe and Peace Kabasweka notched air tickets to Kigali and Nairobi.
Rookie professional Abraham Ainemani, who mauled mainstay Herman Mutawe 9/7, shaking hands at hole No.11, earned the biggest share of the Shs15m staked cash pot on the night presided over by outgoing UBL Managing Director Mark Ocitti Ongom and the incoming Alvin Mbugua alongside representatives from Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), DStv, Pinnacle Security, Victoria Motors, HTC Hub, Afrisafe Risk Partners, Ekspreso and Street Club. The Pajero Sport car for the hole-in-one winners remained unclaimed but no one cared as Afrigo Band blew the roof off the house to crown the night in unforgettable style.
CAST OF CHAMPIONS
2017: Isaac Marriera & John Muchiri
2018: Peace Kabasweka & Sheila Kesiime
2019: Richard Lutwama & Robert Busingye
SINGLETON CHALLENGE 2019
Final PAIRINGs – Matchplay
Richard Lutwama & Robert Busingye bt
Geoffrey Orach & Andrew Atuhaire
1-up (1st sudden death play-off hole)
Second runners up
Charles Odere and Samuel Kato
Third runners up
Ssuubi Kiwanuka and Timothy Mwanda
Individual winners – Men
Mackie Nasser 106 points
Patrick Mugisha 100
Individual winners – Ladies
Irene Nakalembe 104 points
Peace Kabasweka 100
Professionals Category - Final
Abraham Ainamani beat Herman Mutawe
9/7 (play ended on hole No.11)
Third place playoff
Ronald Rugumayo beat Herman ‘Deco’
Mutebi 1-up (play ended on hole No.18)