Flavia Namakula could have given up. She actually had a bigger chance to switch back to amateur golf after turning professional more than five years ago.
After all, women’s pro golf isn’t as resounding in this part of the world. But, she’s since been joined by Irene Nakalembe in the paid ranks.
And Namakula’s patience is beginning to pay off even more. On Saturday, she won her first tournament as a lady pro when she floored an eight-woman field to win the 22nd Ivory Coast Golf Open.
The five-time Uganda Amateur Ladies Open champion held onto her lead to win the championship with an aggregate score of 299 after four days at the par-72 President’s Club in Yamoussoukro.
“It was good but very hot,” Namakula said via phone after being crowned at the weekend. “It’s a tough course and requires a lot of thinking. I played hole by hole and I was calm.”
The Lieutenant of Uganda People’s Defence Forces carded rounds of 78, 73, 72 and 76 for a memorable win, beating the rest with a margin of nine strokes.
“Professional golf is not easy at all when you have to do everything yourself. Playing and looking for money to be able to play tournaments is the most difficult part for me.
But for this one, the members of Uganda Golf Club and Uganda Golf Union supported me financially,” Namakula added.
In the men’s tournament won by Ghanaian Vincent Torgah, Abbey Bagalana missed the cut.
Ivory Coat Golf Open
WOMEN’S FINAL LEADERBOARD
1.Flavia Namakula UGA 78 73 72 76 299
2.Oumou Dieye SEN 79 74 75 80 308
3.Viviane Kouame CIV 78 77 77 79 311
4.Chantal Behibro CIV 81 78 78 76 313
5.Elema Eko’o CMR 82 83 77 85 327