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Uganda Golf Open: Par-3 Competition to spice up Amateur Open

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Uganda's Joseph Cwinya-ai in action at a previous event. He tied for fourth with two others at last year's Uganda Golf Open. Courtesy Photo

Event: 2021 Tusker Malt Uganda Golf Open
Dates: 18th November – 4th December
Par-3 Competition: 24th November
Amateur Open: 24th to 27th November
Venue: Entebbe Club

The opening round of the Amateur event of the 2021 Tusker Malt Uganda Golf Open will be spiced up with a par-3 Competition which will be played on Wednesday, 24th November with the main showpiece (Amateur Open) set to run between 24th to 27th at Entebbe Club’s par-71 golf course.

The par-3 Contest is a sponsor’s event where each team fields a team of three golfers, two of whom must be owning a handicap while the other person is a non-golfer.

The two golfers with a handicap play from the tee-box and the fairway but aren’t allowed to putt. The role of the two golfers is to get the ball onto the green and nothing more. Any play on the greens is strictly for non-golfers, who must play the putter.

For the Uganda Golf Open, the Par-3 Contest was initiated in 2018 when the championship was played at Entebbe Club. It was also played in 2019 when the Open was held at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa but it didn’t happen during the 2020 edition held at Uganda Golf Club (UGC).

The Par-3 Contest will mark it’s third staging as the championship returned to East Africa’s oldest club with the Amateur Open marking its 80th edition.

The event will be played in six holes but tournament referee Edwin Tumusiime says that there will be some adjustments made.

“We create new holes on the day of the competition to enable us keep them near the club house. For example, hole one is going to be used but it’s a par five. We take them infront and create a short par three,” Tumusiime said adding that holes 1, 2 ,3 ,4, 8 and 9 will be used but will be remodelled into par threes.

However, handicap -1 star John Lejirma of Kenya Railway Golf Club won last year’s Amateur Open after returning 1 under par 287 in his first appearance at UGC. He relieved country mate Daniel Nduva of the title.

Kenya’s John Lejirma hoisted last year’s Uganda Amateur Golf Open on his maiden appearance at UGC.

For this year’s showpiece, Ugandan players will seek to reclaim the title which was last won by Ronald Otile in 2018 at Entebbe Club.

Last year, the lead was in Uganda’s hands until the final round where Lejirma came from behind to snatch victory.

Then, day one leader, Uganda’s Joseph Kasozi finished second with 2 over par 290, two strokes ahead of country mate Christopher Baguma. Day two and three leader Michael Alunga finished fourth (tie with Joseph Cwinya-ai and Gaita Rodell) off off a gross score of 295.

However, with Ugandan stars having pitched camp in Entebbe in the buildup to tournament, the ‘homeboys’ are hopeful of returning good scores and possibly one of them claim victory as well as dominating the leaderboard, though Kenyan players will likely pour ink on any outcome.

Tusker Malt Lager is the championship lead sponsor and its partners are; Absa Bank Uganda, Abubaker Technical Services & General Supplies, Britam Uganda, Case Medical Services, Egis Road Operation Uganda, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, National Council Of Sports, NTV Uganda, Pepsi, Pinnacle Security Limited and Uganda Tourism Board.

Summary of 2021 Uganda Open schedule
Ladies Open: 18th to 20th November
Seniors Open: 19th to 20th November
Par-3 Competition: 24th November
Amateur Open: 24th to 27th November
Pro-Am: 30th November
Professional Open: 1st to 4th December
President’s Shield: 4th December

2021 Uganda Golf Open winners
LADIES: Irene Nakalembe (Uganda)
SENIORS: John Muchiri (Uganda)

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