For the third time, the Castle Lite-powered Uganda Golf Open will be at the challenging par-71 Entebbe Club course.
Whereas the 68th Uganda Amateur Ladies Open Strokeplay Championship will kickstart the three-in-one showpiece before it is followed by the main even the 76th Amateurs Open, the limelight is likely to be ‘stolen’ by 13th Uganda Professionals Open.
The money-spinning event worth $50,000 (an estimated Shs182m), is scheduled to run from September 24 – 29 with an elite pack from across globe expected to hit 100 players.
Hosts Uganda Professional Golfers Association (UPGA) have added spice to the event that has that has a Shs5m Pro Am curtain raise on September 25 by graduating 10 new local golfers from the amateurs to the paid ranks.
The chosen 10 went through trials last week and although only the top two; David Kamulindwa and Adolf Muhumuza are certain of getting their membership cards soonest, the eight that didn’t make the cut will be on a probation period for six months and will be certified upon consistent and distinctive performances.
Kamulindwa, who shot one-under par 143 over two rounds during the qualifiers and Muhumuza with two-over par 146 join 2017 Amateur champion Ronald Rugumayo who made the grade in his right as a 2017 Uganda Amateur champion.
The eight including; Jinja-based Ismail Mahmood, UPDF’s Richard Baguma, UGC’s Joseph Mawejje, Entebbe’s Martin Ochaya, returning pro Steven Kasaija, Palm Valley’s Abraham Ainamani plus the Entebbe pair of Davis Kato and Emma Ogwang will be looking to grab the bull by its horns not only to maintain the new status quo but also a go at the top prize of Shs41m.
“It is not because the Open is around the corner that we are increasing the numbers,” disclosed UPGA chairman Sadi Atibu. “Our aim is to grow the numbers every year and create a UPGA Tour. We need numbers to seek for sponsorship and tournaments. All this time we’ve been appearing as subsidiary in most of the events in Uganda golfing calendar. We want to turn a new page.”
The inclusion of the 10 takes the numbers to 45 as the new professionals under UPGA that will take part in the Open; including one Kenyan and four Rwandans.