The most anticipated event on Uganda’s golfing calendar, the Uganda Open Golf Championship, is back.
The tourney that was initially slated for August was forced into November due to the government lockdown that put a stop to sporting activities as one of the measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
The Uganda Open returns to the par-72 Uganda Golf Club in Kitante after a two-year hiatus that saw the event held at the Entebbe Club and the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa, respectively.
The eleven-day event will officially tee off on November 25, with the Ladies’ Open slated for November 26 to November 28. This will be followed by the men’s amateur event, one of the oldest playoff events that will be marking its 79th staging in the championship with two major categories that are; the Amateur Gross event and the Amateur Subsidiary event, which will run between December 1 to December 4 and December 5 to December 6 respectively.
The tournament will be crowned with the professional event running between December 3 and December 6.
The Uganda Golf Union (UGU) president Moses Matsiko said the major focus this year is adherence to SOPs to avert the spread of COVID-19. “This is the first major golfing event since COVID-19 broke out we are hoping that our event will be a benchmark for other sporting disciplines. 360 players are registered for the tournament so far.”
According to tournament Director John Katto emphasized that this year’s format of play will be a little different, with no cuts and a kitty totaling up to Shs100m that is set to be split between 30 professional golfers who will be awarded on merit.
The winner will take 22.5 % of the pro-kitty, and the remainder of the players will share 77.5 % of the prize money in ascending order.
The tournament has attracted several international players coming in from different countries all over the world, including 78 professionals, one from South Africa, three from Nigeria, one from Senegal, one from Zimbabwe 10, five from Cameroon, two from France, one from Cote D`Ivoire, one from Ghana, one from Malawi and another from Zambia.
Kenyan Daniel Nduva won the 20219 Amateurs open, while Muthiya Madalitso from Zimbabwe won the professionals.
The tournament will end with a prize-giving cocktail on Sunday, December 6, at the Uganda Golf Club in Kitante.
By Ahab Bwesigye