Silver Opio and his team of three amateurs emerged the best side at the Absa Bank Pro-Am of the 2022 Uganda Golf Open that was held on Tuesday at the comely Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa’s par-72 course in Kigo.
Opio, a local professional from Entebbe Club was playing for team Motorola Five and he and his three team mates managed 76 points to emerge overall winners at the Absa Bank Uganda sponsored event. The team mates were; Saleh Kalema, David Keegi and Berna Musanebera.
As the professional in the group, Opio bagged 3.5 Million Uganda Shillings and if he qualifies for the 2023 Magical Kenya Open, he will be fully sponsored by Absa Bank.
The teams at the Uganda Golf Open Pro-Am were comprised of one professional and three amateurs.
Uganda Golf Union team finished second with 75 points. The professional in the team was Joshua Seale who bagged 2.5 Million Shillings. He was however best professional golfer individually with 41 points, two ahead of Opio. If he qualifies for the Magical Kenya Open, he will be sponsored by Absa Bank.
Joshua Seale’s team mates were; Uganda Golf Union President Moses Matsiko, JB Tumusiime and John Byabagambi.
To cap the podium, NBS Sport Two finished third with an overall score of 72 points. The professional in the team Simon Ngige won 2 Million Uganda Shillings and having finished fourth as an individual professional with 35 points, he will also be sponsored for the Magical Kenya Open if he qualifies.
His team mates were; OU Kaowen, Patricia Mbabazi and Rukia Nalwoga.
The top five professionals from the Pro-Am will be sponsored for the Magical Kenya Open but they first need to qualify for the tournament.
The other two players who are set to be sponsored are; 2020 Uganda Professionals Golf Open winner Robson Chinhoi (36 points) and Celestine N (35 points).
Meanwhile, Ngige had had 35 individual points and finished fourth.
Local and regional professionals will earn points for the Magical Kenya Open, a European Tour event via the Safari Tour. The 2022 Tusker Malt Uganda Professional Golf Open which teed off today at Lake Victoria Serena is the opening leg of the 2022/23 season of the Safari Tour.
Meanwhile, the top five amateurs from the Uganda Golf Open Pro-Am will also be sponsored for the Magical Kenya Open Pro-Am event.
The top five amateurs at the Uganda Golf Open Pro-Am are; David Arinaitwe (40 points c/b), Harry Hakiza (40 points c/b), Allan Mugisha (40 points), Raymond Ekwamu (39 points) and Edrine Wasike (38 points).
However, should any professional(s) fail to qualify for the Kenya do, top amateur(s) who finished from sixth to tenth will take up their slots, but on merit.
The amateurs lined up to replace any professional who fails to make it to the Magical Kenya Open are; Wu Wei Ling (sixth with 38 points), and the quartet of Aloysius Bingi, Wei Yon Chun, Ka Owen OU and Herbert Kamuntu who all had 37 points.
This year, the Absa Bank sponsored the ten best Amateurs from the 2021 Absa Pro-Am for the Kenyan tournament, which was held from 3- 6 March at the Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi.
The announcement for next year’s sponsorship was made by the Absa Bank’s Managing Director – Mumba Kalifungwa – during the prize-giving ceremony (19th hole) for the 2022 Absa Pro-Am held at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa.
While addressing the participants, the media, and the organisers, he said, “We are very proud of the growth that the Uganda Golf Open and the Pro-Am have registered over the years and take this opportunity to offer our support towards furthering the growth and development of the game in Uganda through opportunities that increase the players’ skill and exposure like the Magical Kenya Open.”
The Magical Kenya Open – which started in 1967 – has become one of Africa’s premier golf attractions and is now part of the European Golf Tour.
The qualifying professionals that will benefit from the bank’s sponsorship package – standing at UGX 65 million which will cover the players’ travel, accommodation, and participating fees for the Pro-Am Tournament of the Kenyan derby.