KAMPALA. Only three years ago, Uganda’s senior national men’s golf team was untouchable.
Then, two titles - the 2014 East Africa Challenge Trophy and the 2015 Africa Zone VI gong - were in the bagged in a space of six months.
Uganda would win the East Africa Challenge title on the next two occasions as well.
But when the Uganda Golf Union (UGU) and Kenya Golf Union (KGU) conceptualized an idea and birthed the Victoria Cup, that honour could barely come to code 256.
Uganda lost the debut of the East Africa Ryder Cup by a point at par-72 Muthaiga Golf Club in 2016 before surrendering again by two points at last year’s edition in par-71 Entebbe.
If anything, new UGU president Innocent Kihika must still be scratching his head, wondering how the trophy donated by Kenya athletics legend Moses Tanui has repelled Uganda. Kihika opted to fly to Nairobi early this week to to join Team Uganda camp ahead of the third edition of the Victoria Cup which tees-off this morning at Vetlab Sports Club in Kenya’s capital.
“One of our key strategies is to revive the national team,” Kihika told Daily Monitor.
Uganda‘s display between today until Saturday could be used as the standard unit for performance during Kihika’s reign.
Hence skipper Becca Mwanja, who has led the nation on the past two failed attempts in Muthaiga and Entebbe, wants to give Kihika a soft landing into office and breathe a fresh aura of delight into the fraternity too.
“The team is well composed and more determined than ever,” Mwanja said following the team’s practice round at the par-72 course on Monday.
To underline the importance of this tournament, Team Uganda arrived in Kenya on Sunday morning with manager Moses Matsiko to acclimatize quickly. That’s different from previous itineraries.
With some surmountable momentum in swing and putting, they begin the plot to end Kenya’s run with foursomes and four-ball better-ball rounds today.
In comparison with the 2017 team, Ismail Muhamudu, Davis Kato and Emmanuel Ogwang have been replaced by Fort Portal’s trio Joseph Cwinyaai, Gaita Rodel and Abraham Ainamani while Stephen Kasaija is coach in place of Amos Kamya.
ROUND ONE (FOURSOMES) - TODAY
9am: Adolf Muhumuza & David Kamulindwa
(UGA) vs. Daniel Nduva & Agil Jamal (KEN)
9:10am: B. Mwanja (UGA) & Gaita Rodel
(UGA) vs. Denis Saikwa & Mike Kisia (KEN)
9:20am: Joseph Cwinyaai & Herman Mutebi
(UGA) vs. John Karichu & P.Muchangi (KEN)
9:30am: Richard Baguma & Ronald
Rugumayo (UGA) vs. Edwin Mudanyi &