Uganda had a relatively decent start as the All-Africa Amateur Golf Championship teed off at the El Gouna Golf Club in Egypt on Tuesday.
Uganda is represented by four US-based Ugandan golfers that include three-time Uganda Open winner Ronald Otile, who will vie for the championship alongside Titus Okwong, Collins Ajidra, and Emmanuel Jakisa; who are all attached and playing college golf with the Livingstone College in the US.
As the championship started Uganda's best scores in the opening round were registered by Otile and Ajidra who opened with a two and three-over 74 and 75 respectively. Jakisa is the other Ugandan whose score counted on the day as Okwong returned a miserable and non-scoring eleven-over 83.
Ajidra and Otile were consequently 7 and 8 strokes behind the leader, Morocco's Fakori El Mehdi who hit 67. South Africa's Jordan Wessels and Morocco's Adam Bresnu are tied in second with a three-under 69 each, but a further 24 strokes on the country leaderboard.
Ajidra started his round with par on the par-4 hole one which he followed with an eagle on the par-5, hole 2 but followed that with two consecutive bogeys and par on hole 6, before another two bogeys on the first nine spoilt his rather good start. Despite three birdies on the back nine, he registered two more bogeys on holes 10 and 15 to finish in 21st position out of 60.
On his part, Otile hit three birdies but was undone by the four bogeys and one double bogey to end the day in 24th position while Jakisa's four birdies were not helped by his four bogeys and two double bogeys. Uganda's Best three scores left them placed 8th out of 16 after the opening round, with Morocco in the lead by four strokes ahead of South Africa and eight ahead of third-placed Kenya.
Team coach Flavia Namakula described Uganda's performance in the opening round as a fair one.
"It was a tough day, but it's just the opening round. We have to push until the last day, the boys are positive," she stated.
Uganda is up against golfers from 14 other countries; in the 72-hole stroke-play championship, where the best three scores per round count. Uganda last competed in the 2018 edition where they were good for fourth place at the Mont Choisy Le Golf course in Port Louis, Mauritius.
Leaderboard after 1st Round
South Africa 208
Uganda individual scores
Ronald Otile 74
Colline Ajidra 74
Emmanuel Jakisa 78
Titus Okwong 82