By Thomas Odongo
State Minister for Karamajo Affairs John Byabagambi is in the mix in this year’s staging of the Castle Lite Uganda Open Golf Tournament - Amateurs Open that tipped off on Wednesday going all the way up to Saturday at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa, Kigo.
On day one he returned a gross of 97 and was the best senior amateur golfer.
He teed off at 11; 00 am in the Group that compounded of fellow Uganda golfer, Coutinho Alex, and Tanzanian Isaaac Mokokha.
On day one, he beat notable senior golfer also Uganda Open Tournament Director John Katto who returned a gross of 103 off 18 holes.
Last year, Byabagambi emerged the overall best senior amateur golfer (gross category) with a total of 384 (87, 89, 92 and 72) after 72 holes.
However, titleholder of the main event, Ronald Otile had a sloppy start to this year’s staging (78th). The US-based, handicap 2 Tooro Golf Club star managed a gross of 82 after returning 39 in the first 9 holes hence he finished outside the top 10.
Last year, Otile also 2015 and 2016 champion bagged a total gross of 285 to claim top honors albeit a false start to the 72-stroke play competition. Then, he claimed the number one position in day three and sealed the top seat on day four and would fancy returning to the top.
Tanzanian star Simon Njogu Muthoni of Great Rift Valley Golf Club topped day one leader board with a gross of 69.
Tanzanian star Peter Mwangi Rimu of Thika Sports Club managed a gross of 71 and was second.
Kenya Railway Golf Club star Samuel Cheje Njoroge who is Tanzanian by birth emerged third with a gross of 73.
However, host Club Captain Moses Matsiko managed a gross of 81.
However, still, on day one, golf enthusiast Mac Stevenson donated gloves, balls, and towels to the top 10 juniors. He also paid $1,000 as their entry fee for the Amateurs Open as a fulfillment of a pledge he made earlier on.
The Uganda Golf Open is anchor-sponsored by Nile Breweries Limited through the Castle Lite flagship brand. Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Liquid Telecom, Pepsi, Britam, Absa, Isuzu, and NTV are co-sponsors.
2019 Castle Lite Uganda Open Golf Tournament
August 29 - 14th September
@Lake Victoria Serena Kigo
Ladies Open: Martha Babirye - UG (Winner)
4 - 7 September: Amateurs Open
10 September - Pro-Am
11 - 14 September: Professionals Open
2018 Uganda Golf Open Winners
Ladies: Neema Olomi (TZ)
Amateurs: Ronald Otile (UG)
Pro Am: Nelson Simwa (KE)
Professionals: Dismas Indiza (KE)