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Otile closes down Kenyan opposition as Uganda Open comes to a climax

By Michael Nsubuga

Added 6th September 2019 06:45 PM

Otile set a Serena course record of 68 gross in the second round and rewrote it in the third round with a six-under-par 66 as he kept chase of the leading pack.

Njoroge 703x422

Kenya's Samuel Njoroge leads by a stroke, going into the decisive round of the Uganda Open, September 6, 2019. PHOTOS: Michael Nsubuga

Otile set a Serena course record of 68 gross in the second round and rewrote it in the third round with a six-under-par 66 as he kept chase of the leading pack.

 
A close finish could be on the cards after Kenya’s Sam Njoroge went top of the leader board after round three of the Castle Lite Uganda Open at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa.
 
Njoroge who slept in third place after the second round on Thursday shot a third round four-under 68 to go top and is now two strokes ahead of fellow compatriot Simon Njogu who was on top after the first two rounds.
 
Having been beaten to the Victoria Cup by Uganda last month the Kenyans came determined to revenge through the Uganda open but their hard work thus far could be undone by a resilient defending champion Ronald Otile who is equally determined not to let go of his title.
 
Otile set a Serena course record of 68 gross in the second round and rewrote it in the third round with a six-under-par 66 as he kept chase of the leading pack.
 
For sure, Otile has been the ‘player of the tournament’ thus far and it will be interesting to see how he finishes this one.
 
He was written off after he returned ten-over 82 in the first round but he has reduced a 13-stroke chase since to three strokes, going into the decisive round on Saturday.
 

 Ronald Otile watches his drive during the third round of the Uganda Open at the Serena course

Otile opened his round with a birdie before hitting an eagle on the par-5 hole-No.2, before five other birdies on holes; 10,13,14, 15 and 17. His perfect round saw only two bogeys on holes; 4 and 16.
 
“As I said yesterday my aim was to play in the pressure group so I decided to attack and I committed to all the pars that came my way and made sure I made the putts,” Otile said.
 
“Three strokes are within my reach because I have beaten the guys I’m drawn with before; three strokes is nothing, it is all about tomorrow’s game. I will keep with the same strategy, hit the greens on regulation and make the putts,”
 
As Njoroge rose to the top, Daniel Nduva slipped from second and is now joint third with Otile. Simon Njogu slipped from first to second while Uganda’s Joseph Cwinya-ai climbed from sixth to fifth while his compatriot Denis Asaba closely follows in sixth.
 
Excitement is already building ahead of the last round, with many predicting another photo finish like last year when Otile, chasing five strokes by the 11th hole went on to beat Kenya’s  Edwin Mudanyi and John Karichu who tied second, by a stroke.
 
Castle Lite Uganda Open
 
Day three-Top ten results
 
Samuel Njoroge (KE) 73; 72; 68 213
 
Simon Njogu (KE) 69; 75; 71; 215
 
Ronald Otile (UG) 82; 68; 66; 216
 
Daniel Nduva (KE) 75; 70; 71; 216
 
Joseph Cwinya-ai (UG) 76; 73; 72; 221
 
Denis Asaba (UG) 76; 75; 72; 223
 
Peter Mwangi (KE) 71; 76; 76; 223
 
Michael Kisia (KE) 76; 75; 73; 224
 
Zubair Khan (KE) 75; 74; 75; 224
 
Joseph Victor (TZ) 75; 76; 74; 225
 

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