A few weeks ago, President of the Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Golf Federation Kouakou Laussi Emmanuel Koffi invited Ugandan professional golfer Abbey Bagalana for the 21st edition of the Cote d’Ivoire Golf Open which will take place on April 21st to 26th 2021.
Bagalana who is sponsored by Uganda Golf Club member Andrew Opio under the Spring Spa and Lounge brand will leave the country over the weekend (between Saturday and Sunday) for the Open in which he will be making his debut.
Bagalana who earlier this year had stints at the Kenyan legs of the Safari Tour believes that he will put up a good show in Ivory Coast.
“I have been working hard in the build up and I expect to do well. Right now I have changed the way I approach the course; I always aim to win but not just to make the cut,” Bagalana noted adding that he is grateful to Opio who has been sponsoring him for about two years now.
Bagalana will be the only Ugandan at the event though he will find familiar faces for some Kenyan pros will also be in the mix.
Bagalana’s recent victory was in March this year when he beat Becca Mwanja in sudden death playoffs to win the Professionals (pros) event of the Captain’s Prize Golf Tournament played at Uganda Golf Club.
Bagalana’s sponsor Andrew Opio has also backed him to put up a good display in Ivory Coast but believes that the tournament offers other opportunities as well.
“I expect him to grow his confidence on the course but the most important thing is to get exposure outside Uganda,” Opio who has sponsored a couple of Ugandan pros said.
The Ivory Coast Open or Open de Côte d’Ivoire is a golf tournament in the Ivory Coast. It was founded in 1980, and was an event on the Safari Circuit the following year. It was an event on the European-based Challenge Tour schedule in 1990 and 1991, and from 1996 to 1999. It has been held at President Golf Club, Yamoussoukro and Ivoire Golf Club, Abidjan.
The title has been won by some of the best golfers in the world, including Vijay Singh, Ian Poulter and Gary Player. The most successful player is Englishman Gordon J. Brand, who recorded three wins between 1981 and 1988.