Uganda junior golf team pair of Frista Birabwa and Godfrey Nsubuga were among the winners in the NCBA 2022 Serena Junior Championship that came to a close on Easter Sunday at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa, Kigo.
Birabwa came atop in the girls 15-18 age category with a gross score of 185 after two rounds while Nsubuga who’s Uganda’s junior team Captain emerged winner in the boys 15-18 age category with 154.
Birabwa was leader in her group both in the opening round and day two posting 94 and 91 respectively.
Nsubuga on the other hand recovered from a three-shot deficit (in the opening round) to win by two shots on Sunday. He was tied for second with fellow national team star Reagan Akena off 79 in the opening round as Tanzania U-18 national team Captain Garv Chadha led by three strokes.
At the end of proceedings, Nsubuga who managed 75 on day two topped the leaderboard whilst Garv Chadha who had 80 on Sunday tied for second with Akena with a total score of 156 each. The three were in the pressure group.
“I’m so happy,” said Nsubuga after triumphing adding that; “the first round was challenging but I didn’t give up. I worked so hard and my efforts paid off.”
Nsubuga added that he capitalized on the beautiful Sunday weather to make up for Saturday mistakes that were partly caused by the wet and windy conditions then.
For Birabwa, the Entebbe Club star posted an eight shot lead over South Africa’s Dhlamini Tokollo who had 193 over two rounds and finished second. Uganda’s national team player Vivian Achen capped the podium with 195.
“It feels amazing to win here today. It’s not by my power but it’s through my coach (Flavia Namakula) and the Lord. I made many mistakes but my coach was always there for me,” Birabwa said.
The Serena Junior Championship which was played by players aged 5-18 years had 101 entries from over 10 countries including outside Africa. Uganda had players in each and every category.
All podium finishers received trophies. All participants got medals and certificates.
The Serena Junior Championship which was held in partnership with US Kids Golf and Golf for Kids Kenya was a qualifier for the Venice Open scheduled for 18th August 2022 in Italy.
Tournament Director Emanuel Kasio says that the qualified participants for the Venice Open will be confirmed in a week’s time as the list will be submitted to the headquarters (US Kids Golf Italy) for approval.
Summary of winners per category
15-18 years: Frista Birabwa – 185
13-14 years: Winnie Musuya – 172
11-12 years: Audrey Gachora – 157
9-10 years: Bianca Dave – 104
8 & under: Ashley Gachora – 78
15-18 years: Godfrey Nsubuga – 154
13-14 years: Charles Jjunju – 162
12 years: Harish Shashawt – 155
11 years: Mwathi Gicheru – 165
10 years: Banza Matsiko – 173
9 years: Paulstar Kalenzi – 179
8 years: Lewi Nebiyeleul Tilahun – 105
7 years: Liam Mubiru – 141
6 & under: Dante Kawalya – 100.