Zambia''s Madalisto Muthiya shot an opening 5-under-par 67 gross to take an early lead as the Tusker Malt Lager Professionals Open teed off at Kitante Wednesday
By Michael Nsubuga
Zambia's Madalisto Muthiya shot an opening 5-under-par 67 gross to take an early lead as the Tusker Malt Lager Professionals Open teed off at Kitante Wednesday.
He returned 69 gross a day earlier in the Pro-Am tournament that was won by Kenya's David Wakhu.
Muthiya who is currently No.39 in the Sunshine Tour, is returning to the Ugandan Open for the second time and showed early intent by taking a two stroke lead.
This year he has already banked over sh30m from the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius and the Jo'burg opens could be on his to taking the biggest chunk of sh100m prize money in the Uganda Open following his lead.
Godfrey Mande lines up a putt during day-one of the Professionals' Open at Kitante, July 28 2015. Photo by Michael Nsubuga
The world No. 1210 ranked golfer is ahead of another Sunshine Tour player, South African Michael Palmer who returned 69.
Palmer who registered 4 birdies and 1 bogey on Hole No. 11 is also in the running for top spot after improving his game at Kitante by five strokes. He played 74 in the Pro-Am on Tuesday.
"I had a good day out there and I hope I can replicate my performance Thursday," Palmer said.
South Africa's Michael Palmer watches his drive on the 7th tee during day-one of the Professionals' Open at Kitante, July 28 2015. Photo by Michael Nsubuga
Kenya's James Karanja and Kopan Timbe are third and fourth, 3 and 4 off the leader respectively.
Ugandans Brian Toolit, Godfrey Mande, Herman Mutaawe together with Kenyan Brian Njoroge, Tanzania's Fadhily Nkya and Zimbabwe's Stefan Engel are tied in 5th place on 72 gross each.
Defending champion Deo Akope returned 76 while former winners Dismas Indiza (74), Vincent Byamukama (75), Willy Kitata (73), Phillip Kasozi (75) and Peter Ssendawula (76) all have their work cut out going into the second day.
After today's round there will be a cut with only the top 30 players continuing in the last two rounds.
Uganda Open amateur champion Ronald Otile proved his recent win was no fluke when he returned 73 gross same as Kenyan pro Richard Ainley with whom he had his round.
The top ten Uganda amateurs are also playing with the professionals for a chance to make it to the paid ranks if they make today's cut with the pros.
But Otile has already turned down the offer of turning pro despite winning the Uganda Open.
Top ten after day-one
Madalisto Muthia (ZAM) 67
Michael Palmer (SA) 69
James Karanja (KEN) 70
Kopan Timbe (KEN) 71
Brian Toolit (UG) 72
Godfrey Mande (UG) 72
Herman Mutaawe (UG) 72
Brian Njoroge (KEN) 72
Fadhily Nkya (TZ) 72
Stefan Engel (ZIM) 72
Zambia''s Madalitso takes lead at Professionals Open