Local pro Ronald Rugumayo finished fourth overall at the 2021 Tusker Malt Uganda Professional Golf Open that came to a close last weekend at Entebbe Club’s par-71 course. He managed an overall 5 under par 279, just a stroke behind last year’s winner Robson Chinhoi (Zimbabwe) who finished third.
Rugumayo who turned pro in 2018 was one of the three local players to finish in the top 10 of the leaderboard. The other two are; UPGA Captain Deo Akope and Silver Opio who tied for ninth with Malawi’s Paul Chidale off 3 over par 287.
Kenya’s Justus Madoya emerged overall winner, shooting an overall 13 under par 271 to get off the mark at the Tusker Malt Lager event that marked its 16th staging this year.
However, for Rugumayo, a fourth place finish for the 2017 Amateur Open winner is a good gesture especially if we’re to put into account how 2021 has been a tough year for professional golf in the country.
This year, Rugumayo had stints at some of the Safari Tour legs in Kenya including at local events like; the Kakira Open in Jinja, NARO Equity Bank Open in Namulonge, the Captain’s Bell and Lady Captain’s Prize at Uganda Golf Club. The Uganda Golf Open preparation event was also held at Entebbe Club prior to the event proper.
In all the above events, Rugumayo made both the day one and the money cut (day two cut). He also won the Pro-Am during the Vet Lab Sports Club leg of the Safari Tour in October in Kenya.
Local pros have had very few events this year and this coupled with Covid-19 disruptions that forced sport to grind to a halt in June following a fresh lockdown then forced the paid rank of golfers to starve of competitions or look for game time across the borders.
“The biggest problem we had this year has been lack of competitions and exposure,” Rugumayo said adding that the Kenyan counterparts always have lots of events at various clubs that’s why some Ugandan pros opt to go there to test their mettle.
However, Rugumayo adds that it was a great experiencing playing at the Uganda Golf Open and is glad with the score ha attained at the showpiece.
However, the 2022 and 2023 Uganda Golf Open will be held at Lake Victoria Golf Resort and Spa, Kigo. The same venue hosted the 2019 event, its first ever.