DAVIS Kashaka, the captain of Kigali Golf Course, has credited the facility for Rwanda’s recent historic performance in Africa Region Four Golf Challenge staged at Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa.
Out of eight countries in the regional tournament, also known as East Africa Challenge, Rwanda finished second, behind champions Uganda as the curtain came down on the week-long tournament on Sunday at the Nyali Golf and Country Club.
This was the first time that the national golf team pulled off such a performance in the annual tournament.
While speaking to Times Sport on Wednesday, Kashaka attributed the performance to the new state of the art golf facility in Kigali, underlining that “victory is prepared in training, not during competition. Kigali Golf Course provides golfers with serene environment and access to unmatched standards for training – something they had not experienced in the past.”
At the 2017 edition held at Gymkhana Club course in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Rwanda finished in fourth position, behind winners Kenya, first runners-up Tanzania and second runners-up Uganda – and ahead of fifth and sixth-placed Ethiopia and Burundi, respectively.
In the recently concluded 2018 edition, Rwanda lost to neighbours Uganda in the final to finish as silver medalists. Kenya finished third after beating Tanzania in the third and fourth place playoff. Tanzania finished fourth ahead of Ethiopia, Burundi, the Seychelles and DR Congo.
The Ugandan pair of Joseph Chinyaai and David Kamulindwa beat Rwanda’s Emmanuel Nkurunziza and Celistin Nsanzuwera 3-1. Uganda’s second pair of Ronald Rugumayo and Adolf Muhumuza won 4-3 and 3-2 against Alloys Nsabimana and Emmanuel Rutayisire of Rwanda.
Despite losing the main trophy, Kenya’s Daniel Nduva posted the best score (136 strokes) for the two rounds. Uganda’s Adolf Muhumuza’s finished second with 138 strokes.
Starting off with an overall score of 429 strokes against Uganda’s 443 and Rwanda’s 472, Kenya lost its footing in the fourth round match play against Rwanda.
No time to relax
After the Africa Region Four Golf Challenge, Kashaka revealed there are a number of regional competitions lined up in the next three months – and Rwanda will take part in each of them.
“There is no time to relax, we need to keep working and improving. If we make good use of this facility (Kigali Golf Course), possibilities are unlimited – we can soon be a golfing powerhouse in the region,” Kashaka said.
Among others, the captain noted that there is Uganda Golf Open next month and, Tanzania Open and Rwanda Open in November.
The 2019 edition of the region’s flagship tournament, Africa Region Four Golf Challenge, will be organized and hosted by Burundi.