Uganda beats Kenya to win maiden Victoria CupĀ 

By Michael Nsubuga

Having lost the previous three editions to Kenya, Uganda was under pressure to win the tournament on home soil and they did so in style, winning by two points; 14-12.

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Kenya Golf Union chairperson Anthony Murage presents the Victoria Cup to Uganda’s team captain Joseph Cwinya-ai after the tournament at Kitante in Kampala on Saturday. Photos by Michael Nsubuga

Uganda put up a fantastic display in the final singles round to win the Victoria Cup for the first time at the Uganda Golf Club yesterday.

Having lost the previous three editions to Kenya, Uganda was under pressure to win the tournament on home soil and they did so in style, winning by two points; 14-12.

Trailing Kenya by two points going into the final round, Uganda needed to win at least seven games in the final singles’ round, a task that looked impossible against the three-time champions. But the hosts were equally determined and just produced a wonderful display from all the 10 matches picking seven points to three in the final round.

Coach Stephen Kasaija attributed the victory to good strategy ahead of the last round.

“We started well, but lost ground on the second day, so the strategy was to ensure we beat all their experienced players first in the last round and that’s what we did,” Kasaija said.

“Match play is about being precise. If you play pars you are likely to win all your matches, so our target was playing pars on most of the holes and it worked,” Kasaija added.

Uganda's national team celebrates winning the Victoria Cup at Kitante in Kampala on Saturday

Team captain Joseph Cwinya-ai who collected his second national team trophy in three weeks was ecstatic too.

“It was not easy winning this one because we were trailing by two points before today’s round, but we are always good chasing from behind and we knew that they would be weak in the singles. So I told my teammates that we must win eight matches,” team captain Joseph Cwinya-ai said

“I was also impressed by our rookies on the team because we told them that they were on the team on merit and that they should be strong and they didn’t disappoint,”

Rodell Gaita, Dennis Asaba, Emmanuel Jakisa and Michael Alunga won their matches against Korby Gatiramu (4&3), Daniel Kiragu (3&2), Mutahi Kibugu (3&2) and Paul Muchangi (2&1) respectively, while Daniel Baguma, Godfrey Nsubuga, Joseph Cwinya-ai beat Mathew Wahome (2&1), Sam Njoroge (4&3) and Robison Owiti (3&2).

Only Kenya’s Simon Njogu, William Odera and Daniel Nduva managed to win their games against Hussein Alemiga, Grace Kasango and Ashiraf Bagalana; 4&3, 4&3 and 2&1 respectively.

Uganda also won the subsidiary event involving other nationals from both countries; 7.5-3.5 points.