Round One leader board
E. Ruterana 69
J.P Hakizimana 71
D. Odiambo 72
Home boy Emmanuel Ruterana produced a superb 69 to claim a two-shot lead after the first round of the Rwanda Open. Ruterana was in the penultimate group of the day at the Kigali Golf Course yesterday and shot four birdies on the back nine to pull clear of the field.
Standing at three-under, he holds a two-stroke lead over his compatriot Jean Baptist Hakizimana who played himself into contention after firing three birdies.
Kenya’s David Odiambo levelled the course at 72 to finish third while Uganda’s duo of Amos Kamya and Dennis Anguyo were a further shot back at one-over.
Ruterana - who is one of the favourites for the $6,000 event - played with Odiambo and professional rookie George Olayo who slumped to 81.
Yesterday also proved a fairly forgettable day for Uganda’s seasoned golfer Deo Akope who could do no better than 78.
Akope’s round was undermined by a couple of double-bogeys and he was particularly scathing about his shot selection.
Akope, who finished third, last year finds himself nine shots behind the pace of Ruterana whose storming back-nine (birdies on 10,11,12,15 and 18) saw him end the day on top.
“It was a good start for me. Now I have to try and maintain such performances in the coming rounds,” said the BCR-sponsored Ruterana. Twelve professionals are in contention after late exits by two Tanzanians and four Ugandans.
Meanwhile, over 85 golfers from Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Burundi are expected to flock the course today as the three-day Rwanda Open amateur competition gets underway.
Despite an early tee-off (7.30am), Joseph Habineza, the Minister in charge of Culture and Sports is expected to grace the official tee-off at 10.00am.
Similar to other local events, the amateur event will evolve around the main event (handicap 9 & below) and three subsidiary categories; (handicap 10-18), (handicap 19-28) and the ladies’ competition. Again like the pros, action in the amateurs’ category climaxes on Sunday.
Rwanda Open, the country’s most coveted golf tournament has attracted about $35,000 in sponsorship from Mutzig, the main sponsors, ORTPN, Rwanda Development Bank (BRD), Tele-10, Rwandair Express, AAR and Inyange.