Indiza, a four-time champion of the annual competition started day-one well.
Kenya’s Dismas Indiza shot an opening three-under-par 68 to take the lead after the first round as the Uganda Professionals’ Open started in Entebbe on Wednesday.
Indiza, a four-time champion of the annual competition started day-one well and was four-under by the first nine en-route to hitting six birdies and three bogeys, to lead by a stroke.
The Mumias Sugar golfer should have led with more strokes but was constrained by bogeys on holes 4, 16 and 17 which now gives him a one stroke lead ahead of Kenya’s Greg Snow, Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinoi and Zambia’s John Moore Dayne who are tied in second on 69 gross each.
Uganda’s Willy Kitata’s hole-in-one produced the day’s highlight, pushing him to finish third overall on the day after he returned 70 gross, where he is tied with Uganda’s Denis Anguyo and Kenya’s Simon Ngige, David Wakhu and Alfred Nandwa.
Kitata supplemented his hole-in-one with birdies on holes 8, 11 and 18 as well as an eagle on hole-No.15 which he hopes to build on in the second round.
“It is a great sign of good things to come but anything can happen on this course; but today’s round didn’t turn out as I expected, I’m not happy with it but I will take it and will try to better it tomorrow,” Kitata said.
“The pin placement was hard to maneuver around and I think they wanted to punish us as some holes you couldn’t just putt and where I played badly it was because of that. I’m going to stick to my strategy and stick to the process though I cannot control what might happen,” Kitata stated.
His hole-in-one was witnessed by George Olayo and Ignatius Mketekete.
Defending champion Portuguese-Zimbabwe based Stephen Ferreira is five strokes off the leader but is also hoping to improve.
“I’m not very far from the leader because there is still a lot of golf to play though this course is a bit tighter than the one in Kampala. The greens are tricky so I had so many 3-putts; you can’t afford to put your mind off your game here,” Ferreira who came from behind last year to win said.
Uganda’s Richard Baguma who is making his professional debut was the best placed among the over ten debutants, standing joint fourth with another Ugandan Happy Robert and Kenya’s Mathew Omondi and Tony Omuli who shot 72 each.
Deo Akope, Silver Opio, Fred Wanzala, Nelson Simwa and Ferreira are tied joint fifth after returning five-over-par 73 each.
South Africa’s Joshua Seale, the 2016 champion carded 77 with Sunshine Tour player Madalisto Muthiya who made a late entry returning 76 just like debutants Emma Ogwang and Adolf Muhumuza.
There will be a cut after today’s round with the top 30 and ties having a share on the sh185m prize money.
Round one-top ten
Dismas Indiza (KE) 68
Greg Snow (KE) 69
Robson Chinoi (ZIM) 69
Dayne John Moore (ZAM) 69
Willy Kitata (UG) 70
Denis Anguyo (UG) 70
David Wakhu (KE) 70
Simon Ngige (KE) 70
Alfred Nandwa (KE) 70
Richard Baguma (UG) 72
Happy Robert (UG) 72
Mathew Omondi (KE) 72
Tony Omuli (KE) 72