The true mark of a champion is not so much holding aloft trophies like recovering from the threshold of extinction to get back in contention.
In one of the most stunning Castle Lite Uganda Golf Open Day Two performances in recent memory, Ronald Otile put on a performance of poise, grace and balance to hurl himself back into the title discussion after an opening round to forget.
Otile played superb, unquestionably. But what was most remarkable were the words he said on Wednesday night as he soaked in the bad day’s performance.
“Tomorrow, you can be sure I will pay a 66,” the three-time winner of the Open calmly told Daily Monitor. “There is no doubt I will play a 66, just come and witness it.”
It is one thing to say it, another to come mightily close to pulling it off. And boy did he come close.
Otile only managed a 68, a course record at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa, but no one can accuse him of failing to live up to his gargantuan promise. Champions show their true resolve with their backs on the ropes. In true Muhammad Ali style, Otile showed he can take a punch and land two.
This after all is a young man who clawed back miraculously, after playing a quadruple-bogey on the eleventh at Entebbe to fall five strokes behind, to beat Kenya’s John Karichu on the final day last year.
The putter which deserted him on Day one was back at its elegant best as he played an incredible seven birdies, some of which took the breath away. With a history as one who thrives when chasing, the pressure will firmly be on Simon Njogu, Daniel Nduva and Samuel Njoroge. Otile has them where he wants them to be and will be prowling smartly, starting with what should be a magnificent Day Three tomorrow.
OTILE AT A GLANCE
Name: Ronald Otile
Started playing: 2012
Apparel: Nike and Adidas
Career high: When I won both the
Amateur and Professionals Open in 2015
Lowest ever score: 63 at Tooro Golf