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Uganda finds a different class at the World Cup in Japan

By Michael Nsubuga

Added 23rd June 2019 08:00 PM

The Ugandan four-man team of Joel Basalaine, Dennis Asaba, Michael Alunga and Ibrahim Aliga failed to quickly adapt to the playing conditions in Nagoya

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The Ugandan team at the closing ceremony in Japan. Courtesy photo

The Ugandan four-man team of Joel Basalaine, Dennis Asaba, Michael Alunga and Ibrahim Aliga failed to quickly adapt to the playing conditions in Nagoya

 
In the end, it proved to be a different class of competition for the Ugandan team as the 27th edition of the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup ended at the Chukyo Golf Club Ishino Course, Nagoya on Friday.
 
The Ugandan four-man team of Joel Basalaine, Dennis Asaba, Michael Alunga and Ibrahim Aliga failed to quickly adapt to the playing conditions in Nagoya and despite a few good rounds from Asaba and Basalaine, they could only finish at the bottom of the fifteen-team competition-a thing they dreaded going into the competition.
 
The Ugandans finished 133 strokes away to eventual winners South Africa who bagged their first junior world cup with the inspiration of Samuel Simpson and Martin Voster who as well claimed a one-two in the individual standings on 266 and 270 gross over the four rounds.
 
“It was a very good experience, but this is a completely different platform. The stage is still too big for us and it requires serious preparations,” Uganda’s Junior Golf Development manager Oscar Semawere who traveled with the team said.
 
“I think we also need to have these boys play more regularly and create competition at home. But more of educating these kids that returning good scores doesn’t come easy.”
 
Asaba and Basalaine are the only players that came close to returning descent scores, carding a 73 and 72 in the first and third round respectively but these were far in between.
 
“We tried our best but things didn’t work out. We didn’t have enough rest here (Japan) plus we needed to prepare ourselves even much earlier,” Basalaine the team captain noted.
 

 Basalaine was Uganda's best player in Japan. PHOTO: Michael Nsubuga

 
But the Ugandans had good exposure and experience on the tour and will have much to talk about with their peers.
 
From the escalators to remote controlled carts on the course, to a spacious clubhouse, to the speed-12 greens, there was a lot to relish for team Uganda who will take heart that at least the trophy came to the African continent.
 
Japan won the women’s category beating
 
Individual final standings
 
Joel Basalaine 77; 82; 72; 75 306
 
Dennis Asaba 73; 77; 79; 78 307
 
Michael Alunga 83; 85; 86; 80; 334
 
Ibrahim Aliga 83; 82; D; 86; N/A
 
Final Team Leaderboard (Boys)
 
1. South Africa 208-199-194-210: 811
 
2. Japan 208-205-197-212: 822
 
3. Spain 204-204-204-211: 823
 
4. Thailand 216-203-205-213: 837
 
5. United States 208-207-210-205: 830
 
6. Canada 212-219-202-205: 838
 
7. Sweden 213-207-206-213: 839
 
8. Argentina 210-212-206-214: 842
 
9. Philippines 216-209-210-213: 848
 
10. Australia 215-212-207-215: 849
 
11. Colombia 217-206-209-223: 855
 
12- Denmark 223-213-210-211: 857
 
13- Switzerland 214-216-211-219: 860
 
14. Mexico 221-214-216-213: 864
 
15. Uganda 233-241-237-233: 944
 

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