This year’s Castle Lite Uganda Open will be part of the Kenya Safari Tour and will act as a qualifier to the more lucrative European Tour event; the Magical Kenya Open next year.
It will carry the most points that any professional golfer can harvest in order to qualify for the Kenya Open, making it a premier qualifying event of the European Tour in East Africa.
Uganda Golf Union president Innocent Kihika made the pronouncement during a press conference to launch of this year’s tournament that will be played over 15 days at the picturesque Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa.
“Together with the Magical Kenya, Kenya Open and the Kenya Golf Union, this year’s Uganda Open will be part of the Safari Tour. The professionals from the region and from all over Africa will get qualifying points to participate in the Magical Kenya Open,” Kihika said.
“We shall have an equivalent of $50,000 prize money for the professionals. The highest ranking pro for the tour will earn 100 points from the Uganda Open,”
He added that the Safari Tour will also cover the Entebbe and Kitante Opens that will be held on October 29-November 2 and in mid-February next year in Entebbe and Kampala respectively. The highest number of points that the pros will earn will be 50 points from the two events which is half of what you can get from the Uganda Open.
The event that starts with the Ladies Open on August 28 has so far registered more foreign entries in the ladies event with Kenya leading the entry with 35, Tanzania 15 and Nigeria 10.
Nsibirwa thanked the organisers for putting the competition together and promised more partnerships for the sport.
“For this year I would like to express our commitment behind making this a great experience not only for the players but to the spectators and to the sport as a whole,” Nsibirwa stated.
Serena Golf Resort captain Moses Matsiko said the practice round fees ahead of the open had been reduced from $50 (185,000/-) to $20 (sh74,000/-).
ULGU president Eva Magala urged the Ugandan ladies to register and challenge the big number of foreign entrants.
By Monday, the main event which will attract players of handicap 9 and below had registered entries from Ethiopia (1), Kenya (8), Sweden (1), Tanzania (1), Uganda (67) and the US (2) while 90 players had registered for the professionals’ event.