Rwanda elite golfers are getting through their paces ahead of the 82nd edition of the Tusker Malt Lager Uganda Open which tees off on August 10-13 in the amateurs category while the professionals will swing their balls from August 31 until September 3 at the Kitante golf course in Kampala.
Jules Mutesa will compete in the professionals’ category while a total of 10 Rwandan players will vie for the trophy in the amateurs’ category.
The 10 include; Stephen Katwiremu, Innocent Rutamu, Han Kai, Francois Habimana, Patrick Mukiza, James Ndikumana, Alloys Nsabimana, Joseph Semwaga, Stephen Rwabika and Anthony Olwit.
Rwanda will be looking at the talent and experience of veteran campaigner Katwiremu, who is no stranger to winning tournaments in Uganda. In 2014, he won the first edition of the Johnnie Walker Kabale Golf Open title by four strokes.
He has played competitively on various golf courses across Africa, and it is this vast experience that will be keeping the Ugandan opponents on their toes.
At the 2014 edition, the then 55-year old stole the show at the halfway stage when he etched his name into the Open’s history after sinking a hole-in-one on the 129-yard long par 3, hole No.4 using a Mizuno Iron 8 to sink his yellow pinnacle No.4 ball.
Olwit too, is no stranger to golf courses in Uganda. Being the former captain of the Kigali Golf Club, he has played a number of games at some of the well-established golf clubs in Uganda.
He last played in Uganda in 2015 when he led a contingent of 15 players to play against the Entebbe Golf Club in their annual inter-club match.
Title sponsors, Tusker Malt Lager have injected into this year’s tournament, Uganda Shillings 500m of which Uganda Shillings 110m staked out as prize money for the professionals.
Over 500 players from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia and Burundi have confirmed participation. Uganda’s Ronald Otile is the defending champion in both the amateurs and professionals’ categories.
The 21-year old amateur golfer shook the golf fraternity last year by winning both the amateur tournament and professional competition, which consequently won him a scholarship for a golf course in South Africa.