She is six strokes ahead of the chasing pack, going into the second round of the 54-hole competition
Uganda’s Martha Babirye shot an opening four-over-par 76 to take a six-stroke lead after day one as the Castle Lite Uganda Open started at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa.
Fresh from winning the Uganda Golf Club Ladies Open at Kitante last week, Babirye was in imperious form on his home course hitting an eagle on the par 5 hole number 2 to set herself on course of winning her first Uganda Ladies Open title.
Despite scoring only one birdie on hole-No.17, Babirye is six strokes ahead of the chasing pack, going into the second round of the 54-hole competition.
“You can partly attribute my lead to ‘local knowledge of the course because this is where I play daily but I spent the whole of last week in Kampala so I wasn’t as fresh as I should have been,” Babirye said.
“I will continue playing my normal game. It is now up to those chasing to catch up if they can, but it is a different game on each day, so we shall see what happens tomorrow,” she added.
Another Ugandan Irene Nakalembe is tied joint second with the five-time winner, Tanzania’s Angel Eaton; six strokes away. Nakalembe blamed her approach shots for her dismal start but promised to improve in the subsequent rounds.
“The course was in perfect condition but my approach shots let me down and I didn’t play to my expectations. But we still have 36 holes to go and there is still a lot of golf to play so I still fancy my chances,” Nakalembe said.
“The greens were a bit tricky and I three-putted on most but tomorrow (today) I know where to start from,” she said.
Tanzania’s Hawa Wanyeche is in third place, seven strokes away while Kenya’s Louise Gitau is in fourth, eight strokes off while Sheilla Kesiime is in fifth place.
Defending champion Tanzania Arusha Gymkhana’s Neema Olomi found the course a bit tough in the opening round and is 11 strokes away in sixth place.
The course was appealing to the eye for many but it proved tough to the rest of the field who will only return for formality having shot over 100 strokes in the opening round.
Castle Lite Uganda Open (Day 1)
Martha Babirye (UG) 76
Irene Nakalembe (UG) 82
Angel Eaton (TZ) 82
Hawa Wanyeche (TZ) 83
Louise Gitau (KEN) 84
Sheilla Kesiime (UG) 86
Eva Magala (UG) 86
Neema Olomi (TZ) 87
Elias Vicky (TZ) 88
Jane Koech (KEN) 88
Iddi Madina (TZ) 90