Rookies make first cut in Serena professionals’ tournament


Each of the golfers, many playing on the course for the first time, had different tales about their round, which was the first of three

Uganda Professional Golfers Association rookies Davis Kato, Martin Ochaya, Adolf Muhumuza, Abraham Ainamani, Joseph Mawejje and Ronald Rugumayo are set to bank their first cheques in the paid ranks after making the cut in the Serena Johnnie Walker professionals’ tournament going on in Kigo.

All these missed the cut in the Uganda Open, but can now play the last round today assured of partaking on the sh25m prize money that is on offer.

Davis Kato was the best of the lot after the second round, finishing in fourth place behind Fred Wanzala who is the favorite to win the tournament, Herman Mutaawe and Phillip Kasozi, who are in second and third places respectively going into the last round of the 54-hole contest.

David Kamulindwa and Happy Robert who are playing in their second tournament are also in for the money once again having had a share on the sh185m Uganda Open cash.

After Thursday’s round 18 golfers made the cut and will in today’s round be fighting for better positions and pay before they head to the Palm Valley Golf and Country Club for the Pepsi Independence championship on Monday.

Each of the golfers, many playing on the course for the first time, had different tales about their round, which was the first of three.

 Professional rookie Davis Kato celebrates his birdie on the 18th hole during the Pros tournament at Serena, October 3 2018. PHOTO: Michael Nsubuga

“The trick here is to regulate your shots otherwise long hitting can get you in trouble,” resident pro Fred Wanzala who hit four birdies, four bogeys and ten pars for an opening round of par 72 said.

“Whereas my scores were bad I have liked the course. The greens on the new holes are a bit slow but it is a fantastic course and future Uganda Open tournaments should be played here. You can’t blame the course, you can only blame your game,” Grace Ocici said.

“The course is very good but very tricky, even the pin positions were in tricky positions. A par three on this course is not our usual one; this you have to really hit the ball to get to the pin,” Robert Oluba noted. “You have to be very accurate to play under par here, but it is a nice course,” Martin Ochaya added.

“The pins were hidden and getting the right yardage was a challenge to me but it is a nice course and as a first timer here that is what challenged me but I now know what to do tomorrow,” Ronnie Bukenya who returned 81 gross noted.

“I have struggled with the bunker shots because they were water logged following the rain so I had a challenge chipping out but I have realized ball placement on this course is very crucial and that is what I tried to do today. The fairway on some of the new holes were not as good as those on the back nine but it one of the best courses I have played on,” Odokonyero said.

Top ten after round 2

Fred Wanzala           72; 76 148

Herman Mutaawe      75; 77 152

Phillip Kasozi            75; 77 152

Davis Kato               76; 78 154

Martin Ochaya          79; 76 155

David Kamulindwa     79; 77 156

Adolf Muhumuza       80; 77 157

Ainamani Abraham    77; 80 157

Saidi Mawa               75; 83 158

Brian Toolit               81; 77 158

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