Rugumayo happy with progress at Uganda Open

Rugumayo had his best performance at the Uganda Open since he turned pro four years ago. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO

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The man from Royal Harare Club added to his Kinshasa Open and Lubumbashi Open gongs of the year and coasted home on the final day having seized an eight-stroke margin by halfway stage of the 17th Tusker Malt Open.

Zimbabwean Robson Chinhoi deservedly took all the limelight after his 10-shot margin that thrust his to his second Uganda Professionals Golf Open title in three years at Kigo over the weekend.

The man from Royal Harare Club added to his Kinshasa Open and Lubumbashi Open gongs of the year and coasted home on the final day having seized an eight-stroke margin by halfway stage of the 17th Tusker Malt Open.

And the partisan gallery at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort & Spa had actually opted to rally behind Ugandan Ronald Rugumayo, one of the three men in the main pressure group including Kenyan Greg Snow.

However, after a terrible double-bogey on par-5 Hole No.8 and another four straight bogeys at the end of the round, Rugumayo’s score of five-over 77 left him tied with Kenyan Simon Ngige who had stroked one-under 71.

The pair tied on aggregate score of 287 and it marked the best performance by Rugumayo since he turned pro four years ago.

“It is preparation everything rotates around,” the man who hails from Fort Portal said in a chat. “Great preparation builds the layers of confidence that allow you to believe, rather than hope that you will play well,” he reacted to his feat.

Rugumayo won the Uganda Amateur Golf Open after wading off the challenge from Ronald Otile at Kitante in 2017 and he would turn to the paid ranks the next year.

His growth has been impeccable. He missed the cut at the 2019 edition of the Pros Open in Kigo but in 2020 when Chinhoi won at Kitante, Rugumayo finished ninth.

And last year, Rugumayo came fourth, still finishing as the country’s best player. “I love the progress. It’s a process I have to stay focused and keep grinding my time will coming,” he said in a chat.

His best round was the five-under 67 comprising five birdies on the front nine and an eagle on the 13th green that he shot on Day Three on Friday.

This pushed him to six-under overall after 54 holes, five within Chinhoi’s reach going into Saturday’s business.

“The part of my game that really worked was my mental toughness. I really behaved well after all sorts of shots and special thanks to Phil Jenkins for the mental tips. Nothing beats discipline, hard work, honestly,” he added.

A total 15 Ugandans including South Africa-born Joshua Seale and Zimbabwe-bred Visitor Mapwanya made the cut for the Shs100m kitty but the biggest praise besides Rugumayo went Irene Nakalembe who tied 31st.

Nakalembe, who won the Uganda Ladies Open title last year, is the first lady to make the cut in the history of a pros’ championship.

“She’s one of the best lady golfers Uganda has ever had, we have talent, we just luck resources and exposure,” said Rugumayo who plans to gun for more honours.

“I look forward competing in big and competitive tournaments. The Safari Tour season has just started, Kenya Open, there tournaments in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Nigeria,”  


RUGUMAYO IN 2022

Kenya Open: Missed cut by 3 shots

Zimbabwe Open: Missed cut

Rwenzori Open: Champion

Singleton Match-play Challenge: 2nd

Kitante Ladies Open: Champion

Absa Event: 4th

Lira Open: 4th

Uganda Pros Open: Tied 2nd


RUGUMAYO AT THE UGANDA PROS OPEN

2019: Missed Cut

2020: 9th

2021: 4th

2022: Tied 2nd


17TH TUSKER MALT UGANDA GOLF PROS OPEN

FINAL LEADERBOARD

1 Robson Chinhoi (ZIM)                    69 70 66 72 277

T2 Simon Ngige (KEN)                      75 74 67 71 287

T2 Ronald Rugumayo (UGA)         73 70 67 77 287

4 Greg Snow (KEN)                           74 70 70 76 290

T5 Samuel Njoroge (KEN)                 72 74 72 73 291

T5 Nyasha Muyambo (ZIM)               73 72 71 75 291

T7 Visitor Mapwanya (UGA)          73 77 71 72 293

T7 Celestine Nsanzuwera (RWA)      76 72 68 77 293

T9 David Wakhu (KEN)                    76 76 69 73 294

T9 Phillip Kasozi (UGA)                  75 76 71 72 294

T9 Willy Deus Kitata (UGA)           75 74 75 70 294

T9 Dismas Indiza (KEN)                    72 70 76 76 294

T15 Joshua Seale (UGA)                  79 70 72 76 297

T17 Abraham Ainamani (UGA)     77 75 73 73 298

T19 Brian Toolit (UGA)                   78 74 77 71 300

T19 Silver Opio (UGA)                     76 75 73 76 300

T24 Ibrahim Bagalana* (UGA)       81 70 76 76 303

26 Adolf Muhumuza (UGA)            77 71 74 82 304

T28 David Kamulindwa (UGA)      76 76 73 81 306

30 Rodell Gaita (UGA)                     79 73 73 82 307

T31 Irene Nakalembe (UGA)          80 72 74 82 308

T31 Grace Kasango (UGA)              73 77 75 83 308

T34 Marvin Kibirige (UGA)            80 72 79 78 309

* Denotes amateur player


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