After a one-year hiatus, the Singleton Match Play Challenge finally returned as Season 7 of the tournament teed off on Saturday at Entebbe Club’s par-71 lakeside golf course. The opening matchday of the tournament was a qualifier event for the main competition.
Over 200 golfers graced the course for the opener of the annual tournament that had entries from both Uganda and outside countries. However, only 64 pairs made it to the next round (round one) of the tournament scheduled for next month at the same venue.
Entebbe Club Captain, Seruwano Walusimbi says that the club, its members and all golfers from various clubs are very delighted with the return of the tournament which is now one of the most sought after golf outings in Uganda.
“We are very happy to have Singleton Match Play Challenge back at Entebbe Golf Club and we are happy to have Singleton on board. It’s been back and forth but whatever it was it’s now ironed out and we have finally teed off and it was a success and for the next six months, till December we are good to go,” Walusimbi said.
“We have been looking forward to the Singleton Match Play Challenge. The uniqueness of the match play format is exciting to the players and overall, the tournament is exciting for golfers from all clubs that’s why it has become one of the most important activities in the local golf calendar,” Walusimbi noted adding that this edition has attracted golfers from Kenya as well.
Christine Kyokunda, Brand Manager for Singleton at Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) said that they are elated that the tournament has teed off adding that the partnership between Entebbe Club and UBL keeps getting better and better.
“It’s amazing to see this tournament teeing off, I believe it’s gonna be better that’s why we are excited about this. Every year we are always innovating and also going for better things so expect a great season,” Kyokunda said.
After the qualifying round, other subsequent round will follow, that is; round one on 12th August, round two on the 26th August, round three on 9th September, round four on 7th October, while the semifinals and the finales will take place on 18th November and 2nd December respectively.
For the next round, the 2018 all-female winning pair of Peace Kabasweka and Sheila Kesiime will be one of the teams to lookout for. After being apart last season, the duo are back together and could disrupt the established order that’s been set by the male charges who have beeing triumphing ever since the tournament inception save for 2018. Kabasweka/Kesiime will come up against Connie N and Arnold Bagubwagye in round one.
In another interesting matchup for the next round, 2020 winner Innocent Nahabwe and his new tournament partner Robert Busingye will come up against senior golfing couple Charles and Edrea Kagombe. The Kagombes had a good run last season as they played up to the semifinal stage where they lost to eventual winners Patrick Ndase and Philemon Akatuhurira with a 7/6 score. The holders aren’t in the mix this season.
Marvin Kagoro and Oscar Semawere who are one of the smartest and long-standing pairs will be up against Andrew Atuhaire and Habyarimana P in round one while former Uganda Golf Union President Innocent Kihika and his tournament partner Morris Ongwech will be up against debutants Henry Ssali and Darius Mugisha. All-female pair of Lillian Koowe and Joyce Kisembo are seeded against an all-male team of Jerry Owachi and Harry Hakiza.
Round one is full of interesting matchups and eyes will be on the prize as only half (32 pairs) of the pack will make it to the next stage of the competition (round two).
Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) through the Singleton Whisky brand is the tournament lead sponsor. The partners are; Uganda Airlines, DSTV, NCBA, CFAO Motors and Afrisafe
Singleton Match Play Challenge Past Winners (main event):
2022: Philemon Akatuhurira/Patrick Ndase
2021: Wasn’t completed (Covid-19 Lockdown)
2020: Innocent Nahabwe/Adoch Luwum
2019: Richard Lutwama/Robert Busingye
2018: Peace Kabasweka/Sheila Kesiime
2017: Isaac Mariera/John Muchiri.