Ugandan amateurs relish Kenya Open experience

Driving Range. Wandera, who led the Ugandans to the Magical Kenya Open, unleashes a drive off the tee. PHOTO / CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION

What you need to know:

  • Once In A Lifetime. The 10 top amateur players from the Uganda Open subsidiary category got an all expenses trip courtesy of Absa Bank Uganda.

There was a bevy of Ugandan amateurs at every turn despite the Magical Kenya Open being a truly professionals event. The best 10 amateur golfers in the subsidiary category of last year’s Uganda Amateur Open got to live their dream as pledged by Absa Bank Uganda when they took to the course to rub shoulders with the DP World Tour’s elite golfers during the Pro-Am event at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi.

Despite the over-domineering atmosphere at the championship course that has a lot of hazards, small greens and tight fairways, the Ugandans showed their muscle. Joseph Kimani, in-fact, took the Longest Drive Award, Colin Subika turned the tables on the course with a combined round of 65 whereas Joseph Adrapi, Wendy Angudeyo and veteran lady ace Jeninah Nasimolo were left wishing they could play another round at the exquisite facility.

“That was truly magical. I am going to ensure that I am part of the Kenya Open every year by playing well in the Uganda Open this year, again,” said Nasimolo, a former Secretary of Uganda Ladies Golf Union (ULGU).

Lifetime experience

“The Pro-Am was sweet. I now feel like I can conquer Muthaiga course alone without the company of a professional. I will be back to play the course,” said Adrapi -an engineer by profession.

“The sponsor kept his word and the Ugandan golfers take back home many memories. Everything about this experience will stay with us for a lifetime,” said leader of delegation David Wandera.

“I had four birdies and also some bogeys in my round. What made it special for me is that everything was taken care of by the sponsor and also that I won the Longest Drive award,” said Kimani.

“You have got to be there, to see it for yourself. I return to Uganda a better golfer and hopefully I can continue executing some of the tricks that I have learned from my professional,” the affable Angudeyo chipped in before Namulonge’s Wilson Tukahiirwa added; “The course was playing well and the greens were super-fast as expected of PGA standards. I enjoyed myself out there.”

“Humbling experience,” is how multi-faceted Colin Subika wrapped up his time in Nairobi.

“Muthaiga was a world experience. I wish we can improve our golf courses to this level and improve the standard of play as well. It is a lesson for us to get organized,” said Colin Isaac Taremwa whilst throwing the challenge to Uganda Golf Union (UGU).

UGU president Moses Matsiko, who was in the mix for the Pro-Am played under the Texas Scramble format alongside his executive member John Katto and a couple of other executives like Edwin Tumusiime working as a course steward,  saluted Absa Bank and vowed to carry positive lessons back home.

“We have benched a number of issues including quality, level of organization and bring on board the deep pockets. That is where solid companies like Absa come in. Our aim this year is to make the Uganda Open more robust and affluent,” emphasized the recently elected Matsiko.

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