Day one leader board
-3 E. Ruterana
0 D. Akope
0 R. Ainsley
+1 S. Kasaija
Local golf ace Emmanuel Ruterana played 3-under to take the lead on Day one of this year’s Rwanda Open golf tournament yesterday at Kigali Golf Club.
Ruterana who was close to his best fired birdies on holes 4, 9, 10 and 14 to distance himself from the surging pair of Deo Akope (Uganda) and Richard Ainsley (Kenya) who jointly ended day one in second place after carding 72 gross.
The pair finished one shot ahead of Uganda’s Stephen Kasaija who finished fourth with 73 gross.
Akope, who is also one of the favorites for the top prize commended Ruterana upon his day one performances.
“He putted outstandingly well. At one point, he registered five consistent putts in five holes which was a remarkable display,” Akope noted.
Despite the performance, Ruterana insisted that he should have done better.
“I felt in good touch today and should have done better especially on hole 5 where I registered a bogey,” he said.
Sadi Atibu who teed off alongside Ruterana and Akope slumped to 85 gross, registering the day’s highest score.
Meanwhile, over 85 golfers are expected to flock the course today as the three-day Rwanda Open amateur competition gets underway.
Similar to other local events, the amateur event will evolve around the main event (handicap 9 & below) and three subsidiary competitions; (handicap 10-18), (handicap 19-28) and the ladies’ competition.
On top of local golfers, the amateur competition has attracted golfers from Uganda and Burundi.
This year’s Rwanda Open will go down in Rwanda’s Golf history as the first tournament to draw professional golfers.
And so it could be the chance for Rwanda’s sole professional golfer Emmanuel Ruterana to win his first major tournament since turning pro early this year.
The winner of the 72-hole contest walks a way with Frw 440,000.
Despite being Rwandan’s sole representative in the pro category, Ruterana believes he can challenge for top honours.
Rwanda Open was incepted in 1995 and has since stood out as Rwanda’s most coveted and lucrative golf tournament.
East African Breweries under their Tusker brand stand out as the lead sponsors after sinking over Frw5millions in the four-day event.
Other sponsors include ORTPN, Rwandair Express, Serena, Tele-10, Indian Khazana and KK Security.