R. Ainley 283
(KEN) – Rwf1.035.000
D. Akope 292
(UGA) - Rwf747.500
E. Ruterana 293
(RWA) – Rwf690.000
D. Odhiambo 296
(KEN) – Rwf517.500
RICHARD Ainley enjoyed a winning foray in Rwanda as he claimed the RwandAir Rwanda Open at Kigali Golf Club.
The Kenyan golfer leveled the Par-72 course in yesterday’s final round to claim the title by a massive nine shots from home boy Jean Baptist Hakizimana.
Uganda’s Deo Akope, who was three clear after two rounds struggled to 78 and 74 in the final two rounds to claim outright second.
Rwanda’s golf sensation Emmanuel Ruterana elevated himself from amongst the also-rans with scores of 75, 72, 72 and 74 to claim third place on five-over.
Kenya’s David Odhiambo shot 296 over four days to finish fourth while Hakizimana, who is sponsored by MTN-Rwanda rounded out the top five at nine-over.
Clad in his customary brown T-shirt, Ainley constructed three birdies in the final round to signal that he wanted a lion’s share of the Rwf4.24m cash prize staked for the pros.
First, he offered his huge gallery the thrills they were craving with a long iron to the pin for a gimme at the 14th for the outright lead and then followed it by a pitching wedge to inches at the 18th for a tap-in.
After pulling it off, he said that he was already looking forward to next year’s edition. “It was a thrilling contest. The course was very tricky because it kept us on our toes throughout the four days,” he said.
“I’m now looking to doing it again next year.”
Ruterana meanwhile thinks that he was let down because of the pressure that comes with playing at home.
“I failed to deal with the pressure that comes with playing at home. At times, I wanted to do too much with the ball,” the former BCR sponsored golfer admitted.
In the main category, it was the Ugandans who shone as Stephen Kasaija leveled the course over four days (288) to take the overall trophy and a lucrative DSTV-PVR kit worth Rwf1.4m.
Last year’s winner Vincent Byamukama came second (295) while Olivier Munyaneza finished third after returning 304.
The tournament, which attracted 120 golfers from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda, was sponsored by RwandAir, Serena, Tele-10, Bralirwa, Ernst & Young, Kigali Casino, Computer Point, Bourbon Coffee, Romalo Guest house, Republika and The New Times.