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Babirye edge Nakalembe to claim maiden Ladies Open Title

By Michael Nsubuga

Added 2nd September 2019 03:59 PM

Plying off handicap 4, Babirye weathered the storm and held her nerve to edge Entebbe Club’s Irene Nakalembe to the title by one stroke

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Martha Babirye (center) poses with the Ladies Open winners trophy alongside Tanzania's Eaton Angel (left), Hawa Wanyeche, Iddi Madina and Irene Nakalembe (right) after the tournamennt at Serena, August 30, 2019. PHOTO: Michael Nsubuga

Plying off handicap 4, Babirye weathered the storm and held her nerve to edge Entebbe Club’s Irene Nakalembe to the title by one stroke

 
 
Martha Babirye carded 242 gross over 54 holes to win the Castle Lite Uganda Open ladies tournament at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa on Saturday.
 
Plying off handicap 4, Babirye weathered the storm and held her nerve to edge Entebbe Club’s Irene Nakalembe to the title by one stroke on the final of the tournament played under difficult weather conditions.
 
From the scotching sunshine in the morning to windy conditions in the afternoon, before a long drizzle that lasted five hours, the lady golfers in the ‘pressure group’ braved all conditions as they displayed fantastic golf over six and a half hours.
 
Babirye, fresh from winning the UGC ladies open last week, led by six strokes after the first round but her lead was reduced to one stroke by Nakalembe going into the last round. But despite Nakalembe’s perfect chase in the final round, and a two stroke lead at some point, she lost a crucial stroke on the 15th holes that turned out to be the game changer.
 
“I can’t believe I have won! It is like a dream. I thought it would be easy but Nakalembe fought well and could have won because I had given it away. But we all didn’t play to our best and the one stroke that I saved yesterday (Friday) is the one that saved me,” Babirye noted.
 
“My game wasn’t very good today and that is one of my worst scores; the clubs became slippery following the rain but I didn’t give up until the last hole,” Babirye said.
 
Babirye’s win means Nakalembe will have to again try winning the one title that has eluded her next year.
 
“The last day has been really very tough. When it started raining things became so different, but I congratulate Martha; the one who plays better wins. She fought well, put her head down and for me, I will keep trying,” Nakalembe said.
 
“After the rain, I could not strike those balls very well but the winner takes it all. I won’t give up; I will keep trying until I win it,”
 
On another day the Ugandans could easily have handed the victory to Tanzania’s Angel Eaton who despite also struggling came within three strokes of grabbing it. She played better than the Ugandans on the final day and was only undone by a couple of bogeys and double bogeys especially on holes 13 and 15.
 
On the 19th hole, the tournament was graced by several dignitaries led by the Minister of Works and Transport Monica Ntege and sponsors’ representatives.
 
A fashion show as per the night’s theme of African Wear spiced up the evening as golfers tried to outdo each other on stage. Kenya won the competition.
 
The tournament is co-sponsored by Liquid Telecom, Britam, Time Cop, Minet, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Pepsi, NTV, Isuzu and Lake Victoria Serena.
 
Castle Lite Uganda Ladies Open
 
Final-Top ten
 
Martha Babirye (UG) 76; 79; 87; 242
 
Irene Nakalembe (UG) 82; 74; 87; 243
 
Angel Eaton (TZ) 82; 81; 82; 245
 
Hawa Wanyeche (TZ) 83; 84; 84; 251
 
Iddi Madiina (TZ) 90; 79; 83; 252
 
Louise Gitau (KEN) 84; 88; 83; 255
 
Peace Kabasweka (UG) 91; 82; 87; 260
 
Neema Olomi (TZ) 87; 85; 88; 260
 
Louise Chingona (ZIM) 94; 84; 87; 265
 
Elias Vicky (TZ) 88; 89; 92; 269
 
 
 
Subsidiary Event Results
 
Guest Winner
 
Sagoo Mani (KEN) 244nett
 
Seniors-Bronze Category
 
Anita Siwale (TZ) 167nett
 
Seniors-Silver Category
 
Catherine Pavie 250nett
 
Bronze Category-Nett winners
 
Winnie Massette 155nett
 
Friesta Birabwa 157
 
Sarah Babirye 160
 
Milka Ainembabazi 161
 
Hellen Yego 163c/b
 
Bronze Category-Gross Winners
 
Milly Nambooze 203
 
18-holes gross winners
 
Day 1: Eva Magala (UG) 86
 
Day 2: Peace Kabsweka 82
 
Day 3: Neema Olomi 85
 
Subsidiary-Men: Group A
 
Patrick Mugisha 35c/b
 
Michael Tumusiime 35pts
 
Group B
 
Harry Kakiza 40pts
 
Conrad Odere 38
 
Group C
 
Anton Krisch 40
 
Mark Nahabwe 35
 
Longest drives
 
Evelyn Asiimwe
 
Paul Rukundo
 
Nearest to the pin
 
Stefan Krisch
 
Patricia Mbabazi

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