Cwinyaai class as Tumusiime leads Tusker Malt Uganda Open

Tumusiime putts on hole number 15 on Day Two as he surged to lead the 2022 Tusker Malt Uganda Open at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO 

What you need to know:

Last year, Tumusiime finished 13th at his home club in Entebbe. This time, he's going good. Six birdies were cancelled out by six bogeys on Wednesday.

Defending champion Joseph Cwinyaai fired Day Two's best round of three-under 69 but it was aviation expert Michael Tumusiime who assumed a two-shot lead at the 81st Tusker Malt Uganda Golf Open by two shots on Thursday at Kigo.

The pundits' talk of this year's Open being largely open for anyone to win at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort & Spa is happening as expected thus far after Day One leader Andrew Ssekibejja carded four-over 76 to drop further to second place.

So when Tumusiime, who had played level-par 72 on Wednesday, returned a rather impressive score of one-over 73 yesterday, he could afford to smile at the clubhouse marina last evening.

"The driver is going well, I managed to avoid many three putts," Tumusiime from Entebbe Club described his impressive start.

"Basically, I am saving shots, I am not making careless mistakes apart from today on Hole No.18. I should have played much better yesterday, even today," the handicap two player noted.

Even round 

Last year, Tumusiime finished 13th at his home club in Entebbe. This time, he's going good. Six birdies were cancelled out by six bogeys on Wednesday.

Yesterday, Tumusiime had three birdies on Holes par-4 No.1, par-5s No.2, No.8 and No.13 but the bogeys on Holes par-4 No.3, No.10, No.16 and the double-bogey on No.18 had unsettled. "No.18 was a bad hole." 

The principal air transport officer with the Civil Aviation Authority Tumusiime will now play in the Day Three pressure group in company of national team players Ssekibejja, Cwinyaai and Joseph Kasozi today. "I am excited to be there and I want to see what happens," said Tumusiime.

This is his fourth straight shot at the main Open and he knows it's a tough task. "You have to play one hole at a time. You have to play exceptionally well, you have to put four good days together. Maybe if I can have another two," he added.

While Tumusiime awaits the pressure to come, Ssekibejja as well rued the two successive bogeys before the 18th. The Kigo-based player is on 147 gross but he is however two strokes ahead of Cwinyaai.

Cwinyaai is fighting too after moving from joint-11th place after 80 on Day One to shoot four birdies on Holes No.3, par-4 No.5, No.8 and par-4 No.12 and the eagle on Hole No.13 thrust him up. 

"My target was to get 70 but I am happy to get 69,"  said the handicap +4 player. But Cwinyaai could have done away with the bogeys on Holes par-3 No.4, par-4 No.14 and par-3 No.15.

"It was all about course management. My approach was better than yesterday.

"The bogeys were all about excitement after I got the eagle but you can’t be perfect on all holes." 

And the plan for today? "I still want to get 70, I am still confident I can defend the title. I am in the zone now," he added. 

Kasozi is in fourth place with an aggregate seven-over after returning one-over 73 lit up by a stellar eagle on par-5 Hole No.17 and a birdie on the 14th green.


1 Michael Tumusiime (UGA) 72 73 145
2 Andrew Ssekibejja (UGA) 71 76 147
3 Joseph Cwinyaai (UGA) 80 69 149
4 Joseph Kasozi (UGA) 78 73 151
T5 Ibrahim Bagalana (UGA) 77 75 152
T5 Godfrey Nsubuga (UGA) 75 77 152
7 Brian Mugabe (UGA) 79 74 153
T8 John Paul Basabose (UGA) 76 82 158
T8 Felix Dusabe (RWA) 75 83 158
T8 Edson Kabareebe (UGA) 74 84 158