Tanzania Lugalo Golf Club’s Angel Eaton returned 235 gross over 54 holes to win the Uganda Ladies Open title at Kitante on Saturday.
Eaton said this was one of the hardest competitions she has won over the years and thanked God for the victory.
“To be honest the course was tough for me, I couldn’t putt, and the greens were a bit faster for me. I have been off the course for two years and only returned in February and I’m happy I’m doing well. The competition was tough and I would like to thank my caddie for being there for me throughout,” Eaton said.
It was not the best golf out there but Eaton who consequently won her third Uganda Ladies Open title adding to her 2012 and 2013 titles, seemed to have more luck than the chasing pack.
Whenever she struggled, the likes of Nakalembe, Babirye Martha and Iddy Madina who gave it their best push also fumbled with their shots.
Nigerian ladies handle over a plaque to UGC captain Joseph Bagabo. Photo by Michael Nsubuga
“My scores were not impressive because the greens were a bit faster for me compared to the ones at home but I thank God I managed to play well. My driver and short game were okay. I had a bit of pressure after the first nine because Madina, Nakalembe and Babirye were playing well but I kept calm and finally got it,” Eaton said
But runner up Irene Nakalembe is not about to give up on winning the Uganda Ladies Open after failing to win it and coming second for the second time in a row.
“I didn’t have a good start and I was on and off but I later stabilised until on hole-No.15 where I got a double bogey with Eaton getting par. We all seemed to be struggling and I could have come first, but finished second; I guess it was not meant to be mine,” Nakalembe said.
UBL's Grace Namutebi (L) presents the nett winners' trophy to Uganda's Martha Babirye during the prize ceremony. Photo by Michael Nsubuga
“I gave it my best even on the last hole I was still fighting for it. Going forward I will keep practicing and training until I win the open. I’m not just going to give up just like that,” Nakalembe stated.
Tanzania’s Iddy Madina and Kenya’s Agnes Nyakio finished third and fourth respectively, three and four strokes off, with another Ugandan Meron Kyomugisha’s 78 on day three propelling her to fifth place.
This should have been Hawa Wanyeche’s tournament to win but for her opening 18 strokes over par-90. In the second and last rounds she returned the best scores (76&77) than anyone else to finish even ahead of Uganda’s Martha Babirye who was trailing the top players by just a stroke going into the final round.
Babirye eventually settled for seventh place, blaming her inexperience for her final round slump.
“I’m only three years in the sport and I achieved what I wanted-playing in the pressure group and I’m happy with my performance. I for example had room four double bogeys which those players didn’t have so I have picked valuable lessons,” Babirye noted.
Uganda Breweries Managing Director Mark Ocitti and Minister of State for Works Monica Ntege presided over the prize ceremony at the colorful ‘19th hole’ where the Nigerian delegation presented tokens of appreciation to their hosts.
Final Standing (Top 10)
Angel Eaton (TZ) 76, 81, 78 235
Irene Nakalembe (UG) 78, 80, 79 237
Iddy Madina (TZ) 77, 80, 81 238
Agnes Nyakio (KE) 77, 82, 80 239
Meron Kyomugisha (UG) 79, 85, 78 242
Hawa Wanyeche (TZ) 90, 76, 77 243
Martha Babirye (UG) 77, 81, 85 243
Eva Magala (UG) 84, 81, 81 245
Gloria Mbaguta (UG) 82, 83, 80 245
Mercy Nyanchama (KE) 82, 83, 85 250
Gross winner ladies:
Grace Kabonero 188
Na Miae 145
Dorren Mwesigye 146c/b
Rebecca Muwanguzi 146
Seniors over 55 years
Esther Okullo 224
Ruth Ssali 154
Privillege Chilumbira (ZIM) 219
William Tayana (TZ) 160
Day one - Esther Chumo (KEN) 80
Day two – Hawa Wannyeche (TZ) 76
Day three – Mwongeli Nzioka (KE) 81
Day one – Maureen Nanyonga 69
Day two - Mi Jung Kim 68
Subsidiary Men results
Nick Snyman 74nett
Stephen Kasaija 75
Tony Kisadha 75
Paul Baite 68c/b
Collins Odere 68
Patrick Kagurusi 71
John Mwangi 72c/b
Alex Mutto 72
Fred Kimbugwe 73
Longest drive (Silver category)
Longest drive (Bronze category)
Winner: Ayne Magombe
R/up: Agnes Nyakio
Nearest to the pin
Winner: Peace Kabasweka
R/up: Ekwueme Ekanem (NIG)