Cwinyaai triumph vindicates gold union, focus on pros

Champagne moment. Cwinyaai (left) is showered with drinks after decisive putt. PHOTO | EDDIE CHICCO

He may not say it but, Moses Matsiko carried his own bag of pressure last week.

The Uganda Golf Union (UGU) president had been at the core of organising a 10-day camp for the country’s top amateur players just before the 80th Tusker Malt Uganda Amateur Open teed-off last Wednesday at Entebbe Club.

So to witness neither of the national stars from that camp in the title run for the first three rounds must have kept Matsiko wondering.

But national captain Joseph Cwinyaai vindicated UGU’s decision for the camp by ascending to the title with a final round of three-under 68 for a final aggregate score of 287 gross.

“We’re seeing the continuity of the Ugandan golfers taking the lead in the Open,” said Matsiko after he had handed Tooro club’s Cwinyaai his trophy.

“[Irene] Nakalembe first, now Cwinyaai… seeing a Ugandan win it after two years of not having it, we are more than proud that a national captain is leading by example,” he added.

That momentum by Ugandans last happened in 2014 when Flavia Namakula (ladies), Willy Deus Kitata (amateurs) and Deo Akope (professionals) swept all championships on offer.

UGU now hopes that the Uganda Professional Golfers Association (UPGA) stands to be counted when a stellar multi-national field engages gear for a Shs100m purse at the 16th Pros’ Open over 72 holes starting tomorrow.

The men in the paid ranks include players from Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and South Africa.

Cwinyaai will lead the top 10 amateurs from the Open to mingle with the pros in the Pro-Am event today, with a Shs5m kitty at stake courtesey of Absa Bank.

Tournament detail

Dates: November 18-December 4, 2021

Venue: Entebbe Golf Course

Location: Entebbe, Wakiso

Size: Par-71

Pros’ kitty: Shs100m

Expected field: 400 players

Platinum Sponsor: Tusker Malt (Shs300m)

Gold Sponsor: Absa (Shs96m)

Bronze Sponsors: Abubaker Tech, Britam Insurance, NTV, Pepsi, Pinnacle Security, Case Med Care, Egis, National Council of Sports, Uganda Tourism Board, Liquid Telecom

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