The country’s top amateur golfer Jean Baptista Hakizimana started his pro trials in style with a two round five-over-par 149 score at Kampala’s Kitante Golf Course.
Playing on an unfamiliar course, the 19-year-old scored 79 in the first round but recovered well with a two under-par 70 in the second round to lead the Uganda Professional Golfers Association (UPGA) qualifying tournament.
Uganda’s Stephen Birungi who was outstanding at last year’s Rwanda Open is two strokes behind Hakizimana who is sponsored by Rwanda’s giant telecommunications network MTN.
It is said that the pair will qualify if they maintain this impressive run.
The competition is a weighing scale for amateur golfers who are on the verge of joining the professional ranks.
To pass the test, one has to score not more than eight over 296 over four rounds. On top of Hakizimana and Birungi, Olaya, Byamukama and Ayella are the others chasing for pro status.
If Hakizimana passes this test, he will go down into Rwanda’s golf history books as the second professional golfer after Emmanuel Ruterana who broke the ‘professional jinx’ last February.