Zimbabwean Chinhoi holds slim lead heading into final two rounds of Open

Joseph Adrapi (L) one of the best amateur players from the Pro-Am Tournament receives an award from Mumba Kalifungwa, the Absa Bank Uganda’s MD. Absa Bank Uganda will sponsor the 10 best amateur players from the 2021 Uganda Golf Open to attend the Magical Kenya Open slated for March 2022 at the prestigious Muthaiga Golf Club. PHOTO | GEORGE KATONGOLE

What you need to know:

  • Record five-time champion Kenyan Dismas Indiza is fourth after an identical 69 from Day One and the best Ugandan Philip Kasozi is fifth at three-under overall after shooting 70.
  • A total 13 Ugandans including two amateurs made the cut for the top 30 put at an aggregate score of four-over 146. 

ENTEBBE. Defending champion Zimbabwean Robson Chinhoi is hoping to retain his title after shooting a course record of seven-under 64 yesterday at Entebbe Club to lead the 16th Tusker Malt Uganda Professionals Open by a shot at halfway stage.

Chinhoi three-under 68 on Day One but Kenyan Jastas Madoya and his counterpart Visitor Mapwanya were better with 65 and 67 in the start of the quest for the Shs100m purse.

But yesterday, the man from Royal Harare Club answered the tough questions and showed that he is not about to let go of his title with a bogey-free round.

“I am very happy,” humbled but still bubbly, Chinhoi said after his lunch at the clubhouse. “Everything worked out the way I was expecting,” he said.

Entebbe may be the oldest golf club in East and Central Africa but the par-71 course had never witnessed such an official spectacular display.

Chinhoi returned seven birdies on Holes par-5 No.1, par-3 No.2, par-4 No.3, par-3 No.6, par-5 No.7, par-3 No.8 and par-5 No.11. It was even sweeter with eagles at the two par-5s No.15 and No.18. “It was a solid round, solid. Setting new records is always a good feeling,” Chinhoi remarked.

But with an aggregate 10-under at halfway stage, how much more is there to come from Chinhoi? 

“If I keep hitting it the way I am, there is more to come. If I did today, why not tomorrow?” he added.

Chinhoi is followed by Madoya who fired 68 comprising five birdies and eagle on Hole No.11 but there were four bogeys at Holes No.7, No.8, par-4 No.9 and par-4 No.17.

“There was a lapse in concentration and someone distracted me,” Madoya said of his three successive bogeys. “My putting is so good and my driving is okay. I will use the same strategy, regulation onto the greens,” added the youth pastor.

Mapwanya is three shots adrift of Madoya despite returning two-under 69 with six birdies on Holes No.1, No.5, No.6, No.11,  No.13 and No.15 before four bogeys at Holes par-3 No.10,  par-3 No.16, No.17 and No.18. 

“I struggled at the end, I just hit some funny shots and walked away with silly bogeys,” reacted the man from Chapman Club.  “I was five under playing the last three holes, I just need to be more positive,” added Mapwanya.

Record five-time champion Kenyan Dismas Indiza is fourth after an identical 69 from Day One and the best Ugandan Philip Kasozi is fifth at three-under overall after shooting 70.  “It’s tough but it’s coming along,” noted Kasozi who scored three birdies and a double-bogey. 

Two other Ugandans including two-time champion Deo Akope and Ronald Rugumayo are tied sixth on two-under par.

A total 13 Ugandans including two amateurs made the cut for the top 30 put at an aggregate score of four-over 146. 

No Ugandan has won this Open since Akope in 2013.  2016 winner Joshua Seale only recently changed nationality. 

UGANDA OPEN DAY TWO LEADER BOARD

1 Robson Chinhoi (ZIM)       68 64 132 -10

2 Jastas Madoya (KEN)      65 68 133 -9

3 Visitor Mapwanya (ZIM) 67 69 136 -6

4 Dismas Indiza (KEN)        69 69 138 -4

5 Philip Kasozi (UGA)          69 70 139 -3

T6 Deo Akope (UGA)          72 68 140 -2

T6 Ronald Rugumayo          72 68 140 -2

T8 Joshua Seale (UGA)     74 67  141    -1

T8 Silver Opio (UGA)          70 71   141    -1

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