Youngster wins first pro title
J.B Hakizimana 288-$1,200
G. Mande 289-$ 900
E. Ruterana 292-$700
D. Akope 293- $600
J. Ngigi 300-$500
D. Odiambo 301-$450
A. Kamya 302-$400
D. Anguyo 305-$350
G. Olayo 308-$300
D. Lagoro 312-$250
H. Mutaawe 320-$200
G. Ayera 323- $150
Jean Baptist Hakizimana admitted he felt ‘proud’ after claiming the Rwanda Open title at his home course (Kigali Golf Course) on Sunday.
Hakizimana, 19, only playing in his second major professional tournament since joining the paid ranks in August, charged through the field on the final day with one-over-par 73 to seal off a one-stroke victory over Uganda’s Godfrey Mande.
The win is a great confidence booster for the MTN sponsored golfer. “It feels great,” said Hakizimana.
“I am so proud to win against great players like Akope, Ruterana, Mande and the rest. The win has given me a lot of confidence which I think is very important at this level. It’s been a great week.”
2007 champion Emmanuel Ruterana who topped the leader board for three rounds had to settle for third spot after a frustrating round of 78 on the final day. He blamed his fourth round ragged display on abdominal pains.
“I went into day four with stomach pains. But I’m still happy with my performance and also happy for Hakizimana. I think he deserved to win. He was very consistent,” Ruterana said.
Uganda’s seasoned golfer Deo Akope shot a tournament course best ‘67’ on the final day to rise into fourth place after frustrating scores of 78, 72 and 76 for the first three rounds.
Kenya’s James Ngigi was 12 shots further back in fifth, while David Odiambo, Amos Kamya, Dennis Anguyo, George Olayo, Dickson Lagoro, Herman Mutaawe and Gerald Ayera followed through in that order.
Hakizimana pocketed $1,200 for his heroics while Mande and Ruterana walked way with $900 and $ 700 respectively.
In the amateur’s category, Davis Kashaka stole the day after being crowned Rwanda Open champion. The handicap 03 golfer shot 221 over three days beating Jack Kayonga by one-stroke.
In the other categories, Maniraguha beat Arjan on count back to win the second category (handicap 10-18) with 238net while Arthur Barigye shot an impressive 79 points in the third category (19-28) to finish top.
Over US$35,000 was injected into the four-day tournament courtesy of Mutzig, Rwanda Development Bank (BRD), Tele-10, Rwandair Express, Serena Group, ORTPN, AAR and Inyange.