Andrew Oche beat Kasozi in the Kitante Open that ended on Saturday to move to second place.
Kasozi watches the flight of his ball in the last round of the Kitante Open
Despite losing ground to Nigeria’s Andrew Oche on the Safari Tour standings Uganda’s Phillip Kasozi believes he will still qualify to play in the Magical Kenya Open due next month.
Oche beat Kasozi in the Kitante Open that ended on Saturday to move to second place in the three-man race for the two slots for the non-Kenyan nationals that are vying to play in the lucrative Kenya Open due at Karen Golf Club next month.
With one event left on the tour, Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi who finished third ahead of Kasozi in fourth leads the standings on 214 points with Kitante Open winner Oche now in second on 210 points. Kasozi is 1.5 points away from qualifications in third on 209.5 points.
“I’m going to qualify because the last two courses Kitante and Karen are my best courses in East Africa,” Kasozi said.
“I haven’t been in golf for so long and the Kenya Open attracts established golfers. But I blame my downfall in the Kitante Open to inexperience; I have never played in a pressure group as a pro, so it was totally different experience but when I get there, things will start happening.”
Odoh Oche (2nd right) is congratulated by UBL Reserve Manager Key Accounts Sandra Amanda (left), UGU president Innocent Kihika and UGC Captain Jackson Karyarugookwe (right) after the Kitante Open
“I got out of rhythm in the last round and failed to compose myself early but hopefully, I will start working on it; I employed the same strategy though it didn’t work out in the last two days,” Kasozi stated.
IBB International Golf and Country Club’s Oche carded an overall 286 gross over the four rounds to register his first win on the tour and his second in three months. He last won in December at home in the PGA of Nigeria Rivers Classic.
“It is a good feeling to get this win, this is my fifth tour event and I think it tells how much I have been grinding all season to get it and getting the incentives that along is something important and hopefully, it can get better in Karen,” Oche said.
“When I got here, the course just suited my eyes and I worked out a strategy on how to attack the tricky course and I made sure I play percentage golf all week and give myself chance every single time and it paid off.
UGU president Innocent Kihika (5th left) and UGC Captain Jackson Karyarugookwe (4th left) and sponsors' representatives pose with Joseph Cwinya-ai, the overall winner of the amateur's contest after the Kitante Open
“I dropped so many shots in the last round, my chipping wasn’t spot-on; I got five birdies but it could have been better but it’s a fair result,” an excited Oche stated.
“The plan is to get a slot in the Kenya Open it is the reason I have come out to play in the series “ Oche who finished 32nd in the 2015 Kenya Open said.
Ronald Rugumayo, Dennis Anguyo, and Vincent Byamukama are the other Ugandans that could manage a top-ten finish in 5th, 8th, and 10th positions respectively.
The Kitante Open was sponsored by Tusker Malt Lager, Sheraton Hotel, HTC Hub, Pepsi, Alsys East Africa, Johnnie Walker, and Pinnacle Security.
Andrew Oche beat Kasozi in the Kitante Open. PHOTOS: Michael Nsubuga
Final leaderboard: Top ten pros
Andrew Odoh Oche (NIG) 71; 73; 68; 74 286
Dismas Indiza (KE) 72; 74; 71; 71 288
Robinson Chinhoi (ZIM) 71; 75; 71; 73 290
Phillip Kasozi (UG) 69; 75; 72; 75 291
Ronald Rugumayo (UG) 74; 76; 68; 74 292
Edwin Mudanyi (KEN) 69; 75; 73; 75 292
Mathew Omondi (UG) 73; 73; 73; 74 293
Dennis Anguyo (UG) 75; 75; 71; 74; 295
Simon Ngige (KEN) 73; 76; 71; 75 295
Vincent Byamukama (UG) 74; 74; 74; 75; 297
Amateurs: Net winners
Ibrahim Bagalana 226
Stephen Ngigi Kiaro 228
Morris Ashaba 229
Onyango Matata 257
Silver Rugambwa 37pts
Samuel Sejjaaka 34
Sam Zaramba 30
Jadu Patel 39
Emma Tayebwa 38
Moses Ssebugwawo 37
Andrew Gakumba 38
Dejan Stepanovic 34c/b
Leonard Bagarukayo 34
Ladies Group A
Mackline Nsenga 37
Judith Komugisha 36
Jenina Nasimolo 35
Maxi Byenkya 39
Maureen Nasimolo 37
Peace Muyege 33
Nearest to the pin