By George Katongole
Edison Tumwine and Bridge Byamukama gave everyone at Uganda Christian University main campus in Mukono a show at the Coral Coatings Uganda Woodball Open and it was so good that the two youngsters took their battle into the fairway competition final.
It was an unfamiliar ground for Tumwine as he kept offloading masters of the game one by one to earn his place in the final on his senior debut in the 40-man strong field.
Tumwine, a junior player with Air Force SS Entebbe, produced jaw-dropping plays as he eliminated Onesmus Atamba, Joel Adupa and Daniel Apita, among others although he wasn’t able to establish an early rhythm against Byamukama in the final. But he had flipped the script with high voltage performances before losing the final in nine fairways.
“I am happy I defeated all my role models today. I actually did better than I expected although I completely got tired and that is why I lost the final,” he said.
Tumwine guided his ball with precision although the Entebbe Woodball Club rookie claimed it was an average performance.
His challenger, Byamukama, was under immense pressure for most of the time playing mind games by constantly asking the referee the scores and refuting others a tactic that partly wore down Tumwine.
“He was outstanding,” Byamukama said. “There are things he has to work on but he is the only opponent that has given me hard time. The fact that he is new to the sport and he has that ability to cool down under pressure makes him a good player. The only advice I can offer him is to keep working hard,” Byamukama said stressing that his resilience paid off.
“My experience of being on the World Cup squad in 2019 has played a lot. On fairway one, for instance, he got an OB (out of bounds) from about 5 metres and I got an OB in seven metres. So, he was the next to play. I had the chance to load but I didn’t. I took the ball a little close instead to see what he could do, luckily, he got out and I took the advantage,” Byamukama, who celebrated his first Uganda Open victory said.
Eminents on top
Eminents were on top in both the men and women team events giving the side their first team victory this season. The trio of Jackline Naula, Joyce Nalubega and Pauline Nabyayenga gave them a footing on the highly competitive circuit at UCU which marked the last local event before the Kenya International open next month. Christin Birungi, Lillian Zawedde and Sandra Nabaggala could only help Ndejje to second while Makerere University finished third.
Eminents captain Joan Mukoova, who scooped three medals including two from individual events hailed her side’s outstanding performance.
“The team has been spectacular all weekend. It has been long since we played but everyone gave their best. We were really fantastic,” Mukoova said.
UCU Uganda Woodball Open
Joel Adupa (Eminents) - 91
Thomas Kedi (KIU) - 91
Onesmus Atamba (Ndejje) - 98
Joyce Nalubega (Eminents) - 101
Christine Birungi (Ndejje) - 104
Charity Nagaba (KIU) – 105