Event: Tusker Malt Uganda Open Golf Championship 2020
Tournament Duration: 26th November – 6th December 2020.
Ladies Open: Thursday 26 – Saturday 28th November 2020
Venue: Uganda Golf Club (UGC), Kitante
Playing off handicap 3 at the moment, celebrated Entebbe Club lady golfer Irene Nakalembe is one of the finest players in Uganda yet to have the Uganda Open Ladies title at her grasp.
Nakalembe, who now has six straight Entebbe Ladies Open titles to her name almost broke her open duck last time out at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa but Martha Babirye who was playing on home course beat her by just a stroke when she returned a total gross of 242 after three rounds of play to claim her maiden championship.
Nakalembe who made a name in Nigeria last year when she won the Nigeria Ladies Open and Ikoy Ladies Open in a space of one week now has another chance to get off the mark when the ladies tee off this Thursday for their three-day showpiece.
Nakalembe who has had a good display at other home events save at the Uganda Open is now eager to break the Uganda Open duck and claim her first championship.
“I have practiced enough and having been runner-up last year, now I can take the first position,” Nakalembe said.
With COVID-19 interrupting play due to a sports ban way back in March till September this year, one might worry that players are still rusty but Nakalembe is confident that she is back to her best and ready for another putting experience.
“Lock down affected everyone in many ways, but we have moved on really. I have already practiced at UGC course so I’m ready for the championship,” Nakalembe noted.
Unlike other events of the championship, the Ladies Open has only Ugandan players this time round hence the competition here is all but a home affair.
With Tanzanian trailblazers like Iddy Madina Hussein, three-time winner Angel Eaton, 2018 winner Neema Olomi out of the event, Nakalembe still insists that the competition remains stiff.
“We blame the pandemic for the foreigners’ failure to come, we shall miss them. However, their absence doesn’t favour me because the defending champion is a Ugandan,” Nakalembe added.
Nakalembe, winner of the inaugural UGC Ladies Open in 2018 heads back to the same course to battle it out specifically with defending champion of both Uganda Open and UGC Ladies Open, Martha Babirye.
However, other Ugandan ladies to watch include; Peace Kabasweka, Evah O. Magala, Gloria Mbaguta, and all other single handicappers.
After the Ladies Open, the championship main event which is the men’s amateur event, the oldest category (marking its 79th staging) in the Open is in two categories, that is; Amateur gross which will run between 1st to 4th December and the Amateur Subsidiary slated for 5th and 6th December.
The Professionals (pros) will be in action between 3rd and 6th December.
The tournament sponsors are; Tusker Malt Lager (main sponsor), Next Media, Master Power, Pinnacle Security, Pepsi and Case Medicare (who will handle any COVID-19 issues and other health related matters).
2019 Uganda Open Winners:
Ladies: Martha Babirye (Uganda)
Amateurs: Daniel Nduva (Kenya)
Pros: Muthiya Madalitso (Zambia)