By Michael Nsubuga
Final Leader board
ENTEBBE - Uganda won seven games and drew one on the final day (Sunday) to win the 16th edition of the East African Challenge at Entebbe Club.
Playing under a heavy down pour, Phillip Kasozi, Adolf Muhumuza, Henry Lujja, Robert Oluba, Happy Robert, and Ronnie Bukenya all won their games with Ronald Otile squaring it out with Tanzania’s Joseph Tango while Peter Ssendawula lost to Kenya captain Nelson Simwa in an exciting final day’s action that kept fans on their toes.
Despite winning the Johnnie Walker sponsored event, it wasn’t easy for Uganda who had to pray that Kenya lost one of its matches to Rwanda.
Uganda celebrates winning 16th edition of the East African Challenge at Entebbe Club. PHOTO/Michael Nsubuga
Indeed it happened as Rwanda’s Francois Habimana beat Kenya’s Tahir Mohamed 2up in one of the matches of the day, to hand a one point advantage to Uganda. His win was greeted with loud cheers by the Ugandan fans who braved the rain to follow proceedings.
In some of the other games of the day that put Ugandans on tenterhooks , Adolf Muhumuza beat Kenya’s Karichu 2up on the 18th hole after giving away a 3-hole advantage that would have seen him win by the 16th hole.
Muhumuza got a par with the Kenyan scoring a birdie which he replicated on the 17th to reduce the gap by one.
Both players drove in the middle of the fairway going to hole-18 only for the Kenyan to hit his second approach shot out of bounds lessening the pressure on Muhumuza whose second was just 5 yards off the green.
Realizing he couldn’t make up following the two-shot penalty he had incurred for shooting out of bounds the hard fighting Kenyan gave away the game to Muhumuza to send Ugandan fans jubilating.
On his part Ronald Otile came from 5-down to pick a vital half point for Uganda against Tanzania’s Joseph on the 18th hole when the Tanzanian failed to register a par that would have seen him winning it by one.
Otile’s comeback started on hole No.10 which he won and followed it with others on 11, 13, 14, 15 and 18, bagging two eagles on the par4 and par 5 hole number 14 and 15.
The miss had the Tanzanian weeping having given away a first-nine 5-point lead early on.
“Our target was to win as many matches against Kenya and thank god our boys achieved that,” Uganda coach Amos Kamya said.
Uganda and Kenya were tied on 12 points each going into the final day.
Last year, Uganda dominated proceedings for three days before losing out to Kenya by half a point at the Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort in Naivasha.