Entebbe Ladies Open title in Babirye’s arms

Babirye (L) and her caddie dissect how to play a putt. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO 

What you need to know:

The twin had never triumphed at this championship despite attempts for more than half-a-decade at the par-71 course in Entebbe. 

Martha Babirye is hoping she can elevate her career with more challenges abroad after winning her the Entebbe Ladies Golf Open title for the first time at the weekend.

The twin had never triumphed at this championship despite attempts for more than half-a-decade at the par-71 course in Entebbe. 

But with record seven-time winner Irene Nakalembe now turned professional and 2022 winner Peace Kabasweka absent, Babirye grabbed the bull by the horns to beat a field of 74 ladies to win the two-day competition presented by KCB Bank with a best score of seven-over 149 gross. 

“I feel happy because I have never won and it is one of the titles really wanted,” Babirye said after hoisting her trophy on the 18th green at dusk on Saturday. 

She now holds this piece of silverware and the Uganda Ladies Open title which she won for the third time in four years last October. 

And having won nearly all local trophies on offer, it is now understandable why Babirye is seeking a new challenge abroad. 

“I am looking for more opportunities out of Uganda. I’ve got potential to do something out there,” she added. 

Babirye played a calm figure over the 36 holes.  The former cricketer first assumed a three-shot lead when carded an opening round over two-over 73 comprising three birdies on par-5 Holes No.1, No.7 and No.18. 

She registered bogeys on par-4 Holes No.3, No.5, No.9, No.13 and No.17. “The round was okay, it was a bit slow after the rains but the course was better.”

On Day Two, Babirye almost felt she had lost when sunk three successive bogeys on Holes par-3 No.2, No.3 and par-4 No.4. 

Yet, her lead at that point was of four strokes with Judith Komugisha her nearest challenger and not overnight first runner-up Meron Kyomugisha. 

“In that moment, I was just being so careful. But when I figured the chasing group wasn’t making most of it, I decided to focus.

“We were targeting the fairways. My swing wasn’t so perfect like yesterday (Friday) but I still kept calm,” Babirye added after returning 76 for the day. 

Her card had just one birdie on the par-3 8th green as well as a double bogey on the treacherous 17th. 

Eva Magala finished second on 157 gross, eight strokes adrift while Mackline Nsenga and Komugisha tied for third on 159. 

Meanwhile, the lady professionals’ pairing of Irene Nakalembe and Flavia Namakula returned scores of 70 and 74 respectively and with take a 60-40 percentage sharing of the Shs2m kitty stakes by Entebbe club lady captain Jovia Tugume. 

A record field of 266 players competed on the second day at the event in honour of the International Women’s Day. 

1 Martha Babirye (UGA) 73 76 149
2 Eva Magala (UGA) 78 79 157
T3 Mackline Nsenga (UGA) 81 78 159
T3 Judith Komugisha (UGA) 80 79 159
5 Meron Kyomugisha (UGA) 76 85 161

1 Irene Nakalembe 70
2 Flavia Namakula 74

Silver Net winner: Juliya Nampeewo 134 nett
Bronze Net winner: Vivian Acen 136 nett
Subsidiary Winner: Anne Abeja 75
Seniors Winner (L): Edrae Kagombe 145 nett
Seniors Winner (M): Zergaber Techeste 72 nett
Group A: Peter Magona 66 nett
Group B: John Paul Namoma 68 nett
Group C: Brian Cable 67 nett
L: Meron Kyomugisha
M: Casper Okiru 
L: Jennifer Opio
M: Tesfaye Gurmu


2023: Martha Babirye (UGA)
2022: Peace Kabasweka (UGA)
2021: Irene Nakalembe (UGA)
2020: Irene Nakalembe (UGA)
2019: Irene Nakalembe (UGA)
2018: Irene Nakalembe (UGA)
2017: Irene Nakalembe (UGA)
2016: Irene Nakalembe (UGA)
2015: Irene Nakalembe (UGA)
2014: Monica Ntege (UGA)
2013: Iddy Madina (TAZ)
2012: Flavia Namakula (UGA)
2011: Jasper Kamukama (UGA)
2023: Babirye won by 8 strokes
2022: Kabasweka won by 4 strokes
2021: Nakalembe won by 2 strokes
2020: Nakalembe won by 5 strokes
2019: Nakalembe won by 3 strokes
2018: Nakalembe won by 1 stroke
2017: Nakalembe won by 9 strokes
2016: Nakalembe won by 2 strokes
2015: Nakalembe won by 2 strokes