Joseph Kasozi may not be a household name but he is setting the pace at the 79th Tusker Malt Lager Uganda Amateur Open after returning level-par 72 on Day One at the Uganda Golf Club (UGC), Kitante course yesterday.
To imagine that it had not been fully accepted, the small gallery due to coronavirus restrictions waited at the clubhouse for almost three hours to witness a better score. It didn’t come and it was Kasozi savouring a one-shot lead over the main event elite field.
“It was okay,” he said. The Namulonge-bred player carded five birdies on the par-5 No.1, par-5 No.5, par-5 No.8, par-3 No.11 and par-4 No.15.
But he grimaced with bogeys on the par-5 No.3, par-4 No.10 and par-4 No.16 as well as an avoidable double-bogey on par-4 Hole No.12.
“I struggled on the back nine where I started from but I fought on the front nine,” stated the man who has no relation to the 2012 Open champion Phillip Kasozi.
“My driver shots were not finding the fairrway and this is an area that I want to improve tomorrow (today). My aim is to get the same score,” added the handicap two player.
Kasozi leads pre-tournament favourite Joseph Cwinyaai and Rodell Gaita by one stroke after the latter returned similar scores of one-over 73.
Going for 70
“My round was just fair,” said Cwinyaai, who had four birdies on Holes No.2, No.3, No.8 and the par-4 No.18. He, however rued, double bogeys on par-4 No.7 and par-5 No.13 as well as a double-bogey on No.11.
“I started on the back nine. Attacking from tee No.1 is the best option but nevertheless, the training I had done helped me,” said Cwinyaai, who finished fourth in 2018 and 2019.
“I want to play better today with a target of 70. My worst score tomorrow (today) should not be less than level,” added the handicap +2 player.
Meanwhile, Gaita had two birdies on Holes No.2 and No.3 but he is keen on correcting his putting which cost him bogeys on holes No.1, No.10 and No.15.
“It was good only that my putting has to be corrected,” the Kilembe Mines Golf Club player remarked.
“I am striking, driving and approaching well. I just need to work on my putter. I think this will be my win,” he added.
There are seven men tied on three-over 75 in fourth place including the best foreign player thus far Kenyan John Lejirma.
UGANDA AMATEUR OPEN
DAY ONE LEADERBOARD - TOP 10
1. Joseph Kasozi (UGA) 72
T2. Joseph Cwinyaai (UGA) 73
T2. Rodell Gaita (UGA) 73
T4. Aaron Muguluma (UGA) 75
T4. Chris Baguma (UGA) 75
T4. Denis Asaba (UGA) 75
T4. Grace Kasango (UGA) 75
T4. Canary Kabise (UGA) 75
T4. Samuel Kato (UGA) 75
T4. John Lejirma (KEN) 75