Peng Wei takes home historic Captain’s Prize

Monday March 15 2021
golf01pix

Reward. Karyarugookwe (standing centre) in a group photo with the winners and Peng (inset). PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO.

By Innocent Ndawula
By Allan Darren Kyeyune

Chinese expatriate Peng Wei Xue exorcised a five-year winless spell on a historic day when a record 230 golfers took the par-72 Uganda Golf Club (UGC) Kitante course to win his first ‘major’ at the Captain’s Prize tournament on Saturday.

The day truly belonged to outgoing captain Jackson Karyarugookwe, who took over the reins at a time the club was struggling and even members not shying away from playing the blame game.

Peng’s moment

But Peng, playing off handicap 19, made sure he was a perfect anecdote to the captain’s swansong with a round of 60 nett to upstage the full house by five strokes at the two-day event that also had 29 professionals grit it out over 36 holes for a Shs8m kitty.

“I worked a lot on my game during the Covid period. Now these are the fruits,” said Xue who has been in Uganda for 15 years and had no other victory to show apart from a men’s Group B runner-up finish at last year’s Uganda Open in the subsidiary category.

Peng won a trophy and weekend for two at Moses Turyatemba’s Trackers Safari Lodge in Bwindi – prizes that were also scooped by the overall women winner Rose Azuba with near perfect return of 64 nett.
Peng showed true sportsmanship by saluting his playing foursome mates. 

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“The weather was good but most importantly the guys I played with returned good scores and picked some prizes, too. I rubbed off their good games. I will try to win again in future,” added Peng, who played alongside Charles Kareba, Ben Wacha and Chirag Kotecha (second runner-up men’s Group C with 67 nett).
Group C winner Fan Chen, with 65 nett on countback, came with women Group B winner Aidah Khamisi and women Group C’s best Charity Opolot not far off the pace with similar returns of 66 nett.

Captain’s works

But Karyarugookwe, one who was looked at as one from yesteryear’s generation and quietly given no chance to deliver when he came into office, proved he was from a school of hard knocks with strategy, projects and idealistic tweaks in the new implementations.
“This is a special day in the life of this club,” said the senior golfer with the full gallery at the 19th hole applauding.

“We missed the opportunity to celebrate last year because of Covid-19 but we are here to celebrate a very eventful term of office. Yes, we had hitches but we have also been successful.
“Thanks to our sponsors, friends of the captain and members who have been very supportive in every endeavour we undertook,” Karyarugookwe said.
“The development committee is already working to ensure the club is of world class status. 50 per cent of the members subscription fees have been banked on a separate account and we currently have Shs325m that cannot be touched without the approval of the Board of Trustees. 
“This money is for the club’s projects some of which you already enjoying. The membership has already picked up and we have 368 fully paid-up members.”
Succession sorted
To underscore the efforts of the outgoing captain, his friends including a social group at UGC – Gudlife - and Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile undertook the burden on the day to cater for the local professionals’ prize money and some of the day’s other logistics.

Karyarugookwe will officially hand over office on March 27 after the elective Annual General Meeting and with another senior Patrick Billy, unopposed, lined up to take over the mantle, UGC members can start believing more heady days beckon.

Oryx Energies, Game Stores, Kampala Serena Hotel, Smile Telecom and Appliance World, among others, co-sponsored the event.

UGC Captain's prize 
Overall Winners
M:     Peng Wei Xue    60 nett
W:     Rose Azuba    64 nett
Group Winners – Men
A:     Andrew Opio    68 nett
B:     Okello Ocero    66 c/b
C:     Fan Chen    65 c/b
Group Winners – Women
A:     Lydia Mutesi    67 nett
B:     Aidah Khamisi    66
C:     Charity Opolot    66
Seniors Winners
M:     Sam Byagagaire    69 nett
W:     Monica Ntege    71
Guest Winners
M:     Moses Muhwezi    65 nett
W:     Josephine Babirye    72
Longest Drive
M:     Paul Rukundo
W:     Martha Babirye
Nearest to the Pin
M:     Mark Namanya
W:     Peace Kabasweka
Piga Mingi
Rebecca Nampamba    94 nett
Professionals – Top Five
1.     Abby Bagalana    69 72 141*
2.     Becca Mwanja    68 73 141
T3.     Phillip Kasozi    73 69 142
T3.     Herman Mutebi    71 71 142
5.     Deo Akope    71 72 143
*Won by sudden death playoff on Hole No



editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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