Mazibuko takes lead in tightly contested Uganda Pros Open

By Michael Nsubuga

This year's event promises to be a tightly contested affair if day-one results are anything to go by.

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Uganda professional golfers must work extra hard in the second round to stand any chance of winning or making the cut in the Castle Lite Uganda Open professionals' event that teed off at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa on Wednesday.
Only Abraham Ainemani and Vincent Byamukama find themselves in the top ten and ties after the first round of the annual event that has attracted 106 golfers at the picturesque par-72 course.
This year's event promises to be a tightly contested affair if day-one results are anything to go by.
Apart from South African golfer Irvin Thato Mazibuko who shot an opening four-under 68 to lead by two strokes, Robson Chinoi who is in third and Zambia's Madalisto Muthiya who is lying fourth, the rest of the top 15 positions are shared out with similar scores.
Kenya's Justus Madoya and Charamba Tongoona from Zambia are tied in second on two-under 70 while 11 golfers are tied on one-over 73, in position five.
 "This course is not very easy, you need a sober mind and my game was up and down but thank God I managed two-under today. Tomorrow (today) I will just continue keeping my ball on the fairway and ensure my tee-shots are perfect because that is the only way you can score on this course," Madoya said.

 Irvin Thato Mazibuko shot an opening four-under 68 to take the lead at Serena, Sept 11, 2019. PHOTO: Michael Nsubuga

Muthiya who shot level 72 is in love with course and would like to play on it more often.
"I played well today but I felt I was a little bit wasteful because I dropped like five shots, I will just need to manage my game better tomorrow (today) and hopefully come back with a better result," Muthiya stated.
Interestingly, Uganda's amateur golfers Rodell Gaita and Denis Asaba who were among the top ten during the amateur open, qualifying to play in the professionals are rubbing shoulders with the professionals having returned one and two-over respectively.
Brian Toolit is the other Ugandan golfer who returned two-over while Ronald Rugumayo, Silver Opio, Phillip Kasozi, and Opio Onito returned 75 each (three-over-par).
Kenya's Edwin Mudanyi's hole-in-one on the par 3 hole-15 spiced up round one, on his way to finishing two-over 74.
Pre-tournament favourite and Serena Club pro Fred Wanzala did not play to expectations, returning 79 and only promising to play better in the second round.
"I got double bogeys on holes 4 and 7 and that disorganized my game," Wanzala said.
This Uganda's Open is part of the Safari Tour that will have different tournaments played in Kenya and Uganda as qualifiers to the Magical Kenya Open.
Top 15-Day one
Irvin Thato Mazibuko (SA) 68
Justus Madoya (KEN) 70
Charamba Tongoona (ZIM) 70
Robson Chinhoi (ZIM) 71
Madalitso Muthiya (ZAM) 72
Visitor Mapwanya (ZIM) 73
John Dayne Moore (ZAM) 73
Shah Sujan Vimal(KEN) 73
Abraham Ainemani (UG) 73
Vincent Byamukama (UG) 73
Niang Samba (SEN ) 73
Dismas Indiza (KEN) 73
Ngugi Njuguna (KEN) 73
David Odhiambo (KEN) 73
Andrew Oche (NIG) 73