What you need to know:
- Two other Ugandans, Silver Opio and two-time champion Deo Akope, made the top 10, both tied at an aggregate 287 in ninth place.
As the Kenya national anthem played in honour of Jastas Madoya’s five-shot win during the prize giving ceremony on Saturday, there was a feeling that the locals could have done better at the 16th Tusker Malt Uganda Pro Open.
Youth pastor Madoya’s rounds returned an aggregate score of 13-under-par 271 but his closest challenger from Uganda was Ronald Rugumayo in fourth place.
Rugumayo led the 13 Ugandans, including two amateurs, with an aggregate score of five-under-par following rounds of 72, 68, 66 and 73, a big improvement from ninth place last year.
“I enjoyed it,” said Rugumayo.
“It was a great experience. It’s a journey. It’s a process.”
Rugumayo, who has not missed a cut at any event he’s entered this year, however, feels that he could have given Madoya or any other a race for the Shs100m kitty if he had played more.
“To be honest, when I look my game, the only difference with Kenyans is that they are good, but on top of that, they are used to competitions,” he said.
“They play more competitions than us here. The only thing lacking in my game is exposure. That’s why I’m trying my best to go out to Kenya and play (more).”
Uganda Golf Union (UGU) president Moses Matsiko couldn’t differ. “Definitely, we must do something about our professional side of the game,” he said.
UPGA pegged back
The sport’s calendar took a huge blow when President Museveni enforced a lockdown in June to stop the spread of Covid-19. Uganda Professional Golfers’ Association (UPGA) had earlier in March staged the Rwenzori Open in Fort Portal.
And before the Open, UPGA found purses at the Kakira Open in Jinja, Naro Open in Namulonge, the Captain’s Bell and Lady Captain’s Prize at Uganda Golf Club (UGC) in Kitante before the Uganda Open Prep Event.
Rugumayo won at Rwenzori and both UGC events to add to the cut at two events on the Safari Tour in Kenya. And probably, it explains why he performed better than his counterparts.
He thrust into the frame for the podium after a Day Three round of five-under 66 with six birdies and an eagle as well as three bogeys.
The Tooro-bred player would have fashioned better than two-over on Day Four, especially with four birdies on Holes par-5 No.1, par-4 No.3, par-4 No.14 and par-5 No.18.
But whereas bogeys on par-3 No.2, par-5 No.4 and par-3 No.10 were bearable, it is the double-bogey on the tedious Hole No.17 which dirtied his card the most.
“I wouldn’t beat myself that much. I’m okay. I made a few mistakes but at the end of the day, what you do is what you play,” Rugumayo added.
Two other Ugandans, Silver Opio and two-time champion Deo Akope, made the top 10, both tied at an aggregate 287 in ninth place.
RECENT LOCAL PRO EVENTS WINNERS
Rwenzori Open (Tooro)
Kakira Open (Jinja)
Captain’s Bell (Kitante)
UGC Ladies’ Captain’s Prize
Naro Open (Namulonge)
Uganda Open Prep Event (Entebbe)