Going into the final round of the annual championship at the Phakalane Golf Estate Club in Botswana, the Ugandans were in third place, six strokes behind
The Uganda national junior golf team made history when they finished second overall in the All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge to qualify for the 2019 Toyota Junior World Cup in Japan.
The Gems Cambridge International School sponsored team, comprising of Joel Basalaine, Denis Asaba, Michael Alunga and Ibrahim Aliga, came good on their promise, before they left, by edging out Morocco on the last day of the four-day championship; to qualify for the June 14-22 event.
Going into the final round of the annual championship at the Phakalane Golf Estate Club in Botswana, the Ugandans were in third place, six strokes behind the Moroccans but they remained composed in the final round, eventually taking silver by four strokes.
“We went on the course today with an aim of getting two shots from each of the Moroccans and lucky enough it happened. On the last day, the stones for tee-off were put at the back, the same we were practicing from and all of us are long hitters so that eased our performance on the day. We played a calm game which was too awesome,” team Captain Joel Basalaine said.
“This is a dream come true. I personally always dreamed of this and finally I’ve made it; so I feel so happy and humbled to have led the team to second place. It was going to be so hurting to leave the team without playing at the world championship; thanks for the cooperation from the teammates and the union for the great work well done,” Basalaine stated.
Basalaine finished 5th overall in the individual standings with a total of 295 gross over the four rounds while Aliga was Uganda’s second-best placed player with 306 strokes. Michael Alunga finished with 312 while Dennis Asaba returned 316.
“Our strategy was to make sure that we take two strokes minimum from every Moroccan and Zambia players in order to beat them. We decided to attack and we eventually beat them by ten strokes,” team Coach Stephen Kasaija stated in a chat.
Record winners South Africa retained the trophy, winning by 93 strokes to claim their 21st Africa junior trophy.
S. Africa 200; 200; 196; 210 806
Uganda 222; 227; 223; 227 899
Morocco 229; 218; 219; 237 903
Zambia 231; 218; 225; 235 909
Zimbabwe 236; 232; 225; 235 928
Nigeria 240; 243; 231; 247 961
Namibia 244; 244; 234; 251 973
Egypt 248; 243; 236; 253 980
Eswatini 255; 247; 237; 255 994
Gabon 259; 252; 250; 266 1027
Tanzania 259; 245; 248; 277 1029
Mauritius 254; 257; 251; 269 1031
Botswana 260; 268; 262; 272 1062