KAMPALA. Team Uganda duly concurred visitors Kenya were deserved winners of the second Victoria Golf Match-play Cup at the par-71 course in Entebbe on Saturday.
The Nairobi-assembled side maintained their Day Two advantage and collected five points in the final singles round to retain the legendary athlete Moses Tanui donated-trophy by a margin of two points.
Uganda’s coach Amos Kamya, captain Becca Mwanja and his unit hardly enjoyed the usual fun during the 19th hole prize giving ceremony as Kenya were crowned winners on the cold evening.
Captain Alfred Nandwa’s piercing victory speech was even more discomforting for many. “It’s my pleasure to give a speech of how we’ve won, not lost,” he said as teammates cheered up.
“We had no reason to leave the trophy donated by our own behind. When he asks in Eldoret, we shall show it to him.”
“We really appreciate Uganda hosting us. We’ll give back when you come next year and teach you the same way in terms of beating you.” Nandwa added.
In recent years, Uganda has dominated opposition in Entebbe, lifting the 2014 East Africa Golf Challenge (EAGC) being most fond. But there were no specks of that history at the just concluded three-day event.
Having drawn level on four points apiece on Thursday, Uganda then were blown away as Kenya took three of the four points in the morning four-ball better-ball round on Friday.
“That’s where we lost the title,” Kamya noted. “We had wanted to finish Day Two with a lead of three or more points,” Mwanja stated. Only the pairing of impressive teenager David Kamulindwa and Richard Baguma had floored Edwin Mudanyi and Mutahi Kibugu 3/2 (3-up with two holes to spare).
Bar that combo and the Adolf Muhumuza-Ismail Muhamudu partnership, there were outstanding problems with Uganda’s pairings.
The Herman Mutebi-Martin Ochaya tether fell apart on Day One while debutants Davis Kato and Emmanuel Ogwang were blown away by inexperience, forcing Kamya to re-jig.
“We should have had enough time together,” coach Kamya said following a 10-day camp. “We only tried out pairings for only two days and certainly, Kenya were better.” he added.
“We take all the blame. We are sorry for letting the nation down,” disappointed Mwanja said. “But even after such tournaments, Uganda Golf Union should probably follow up on the players’ progress and lives more. We promise better at the EAGC next month.”
Kenya still led by two points at the end of Day Two as both nations had shared the four points in the foursomes’ afternoon round, meaning Uganda needed 6.5 points out of the ten singles matches on Saturday.
Instead, both nations took five points each, gifting Kenya the title. Regardless, 16-year-old Kamulindwa was the country’s best, garnering three points with Baguma from four matches and came from down to beat Agil Jamal 2-up on the par-5 18th green in the singles.
If the tournament was bread, Uganda was left to feed on the crumbs. Mwanja beat Nandwa to the captains’ dance competition at the 19th hole while Uganda beat Kenya in the subsidiaries to win the ‘Migingo Cup’.
DAY THREE SINGLES ROUND
D. Kamulindwa (UGA) bt. A.Jamal (KEN) 2-up
A.Muhumuza (UGA) bt. K.Bollo (KEN) 5/4
R.Baguma (UGA) bt. J.Kubwa (KEN) 1-up
D.Saikwa (KEN) bt. B.Mwanja (UGA) 1-up
E.Mudanyi (KEN) bt. I.Muhamudu (UGA) 2-up
M.Kibugu (KEN) bt. E.Ogwang (UGA) 4/3
D.Kato (UGA) bt. M.Kisia (KEN) 3/2
S.Njoroge (KEN) bt. H.Mutebi (UGA) 3/2
A.Nandwa (KEN) bt. M.Ochaya (UGA) 5/4
R.Rugumayo (UGA) bt. J.Karichu (KEN) 3/2
DAY TWO FOURSOMES
A.Nandwa & S.Njoroge (KEN)
bt. A.Muhumuza & I.Muhamudu (UGA) 2-up
R.Rugumayo & H.Mutebi (UGA)
bt. J.Kubwa & D.Saikwa (KEN) 4/3
B.Mwanja & E.Ogwang (UGA) bt. K.Bollo & M.Kibugu (KEN) 5/4
J.Karichu & M.Kisia (KEN)
bt. D.Kamulindwa & R.Baguma (UGA) 3/1