Kibirige savours the moment in Namulonge’s first Major

Living his dream. Kibirige (centre) receives his trophy from Equity Bank’s Kato (left) and Naro’s Dr Asea at Namulonge club on Saturday. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO

What you need to know:

  • Despite having the fourth best score on Day Two, Kibirige edged James Koto by a stroke.

Members and affiliates of the Mary Louise Simkins Golf Club in Namulonge spent the weekend over the moon.
And that good feeling may take a while to fade after Namulonge hosted its first major tournament: the Naro Equity Bank Open.
Fittingly, Marvin Kibirige, one of their won, beat the field to emerge as the best amateur player after three days of action at the nine-hole course within the National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) crops resources research and development institute.

The teenager produced aggregate score of 143 gross to beat 19 other competitors over 36 holes at the par-71 course.
A week after finishing second to Grace Kasango at the Kakira Open in Jinja, Kibirige stormed to his first big win after returning rounds of one-under 70 and three-over 73.

Gusty win
Despite having the fourth best score on Day Two, Kibirige edged James Koto by a stroke. “I am happy,” said Kibirige after receiving his trophy from Equity Bank’s head of retail George Kato in company of Dr Godfrey Asea, Naro director of research.
Kibirige grew up playing golf at Namulonge. And the 19-year-old was unstoppable on Day One. His knowledge of the course came to fore when he fired seven birdies before two double-bogeys and a pair of bogeys.
The long hitter had only two birdies on Day Two, a double-bogey on the par-4 No.6 before successive bogeys on the short par-3s No.12 and No.13.

“I’m so grateful and I hope to win more. I hope I can get a sponsor and then try to perform at the Uganda Open,” added the student from Busukuma College, as Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration” played.
Vincent Byamukama beat 20 others over 36 holes with an aggregate level-par 142 to the pros’ accolade in a showpiece that attracted 110 players.
“We’ve had a great start and surely, we are only going to get better,” said Namulonge captain Collins Bulafu, whose club has a grand plan of expanding the course to 18 holes to be able to attract major championships like the Uganda Open.

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