UGANDA Ladies Open defending champion Angel Eaton from Tanzania possesses a pedigree that is unmatched by her challengers in the 54-hole tournament
By Douglas Mazune
UGANDA Ladies Open defending champion Angel Eaton from Tanzania possesses a pedigree that is unmatched by her challengers in the 54-hole tournament that tees off in Entebbe today.
Eaton, who has conquered golf courses on the African continent this season, will not allow a host of title rivals to consume her mind and has instead focused on what she described as a ‘very difficult’ Entebbe course.
“I have played tough courses and I think Entebbe is a tough one for me as well. The trees are everywhere which makes fairways narrow for me. The greens are difficult too. You need to think,” Eaton told New Vision Sport, while in the company of Ugandan Flavia Namakula, after a morning practice round yesterday.
The 23-year-old Tanzanian won the 2012 edition having twice played the Kitante course but makes her first appearance on the par-72 Entebbe course with a title to defend.
“I am very excited to be in this tournament which seems to be competitive and I look forward to a new challenge. There is nobody to beat in this tournament. Anybody can take it. Golf is tricky, it can be bananas and it can be apples,” she stated.
Eaton’s season 2013 at glance
Eaton finished fifth in the Zambia Open in June and won the Zimbabwe Open in July, in August she dominated the Mombasa Ladies which was played on four different courses; she won Vipingo, was second at Leisure course and wrapped up the series with back-to-back victories at Nyali and Mombasa golf clubs.
In September she won the Morogoro Open in Tanzania but skipped the Tanzania Open in Arusha two weeks ago due to illness.
Eaton’s key challengers
Namakula, Eva Magala and Irene Nakalembe will ride on the advantage of a familiar course to challenge Eaton. Zambia’s Moono Mwila and Lorna Mwenda are among the field of 40 golfers in the main draw of the three-day tournament.
Uganda’s golf icon is very familiar with the tricky Entebbe course. She won the Uganda Open in 2010 and 2011.
She is one of the most respected golfers in East Africa who finished in decent positions in the Zambia and Tanzania Open this season. She is Eaton’s most formidable challenger.
She just broke into the national team this season. Nakalembe is on her home turf which should play to her advantage. She is a dominant figure in tournaments in Entebbe and this event gives her an opportunity to prove that she can shine on the big stage as well.
She is coming off victory in the Tanzania Open in Arusha two weeks ago. She is a regular figure on the Tanzania national team hence international exposure. She is unlikely to suffer stage fright having competed in Uganda for the last five years.
Magala has played the Entebbe course nearly as often as she competes on her home course in Kampala. She has a wealth of experience and could finally nail the elusive Uganda Open.
She is one of those upcoming golfers. Recently, Mbaguta won the world title hosted last month for left-handed golfers in Turkey.
Uganda Ladies Open tees off