Ndayisenga is MTN Rwanda Golf Open 2018 champion

Ernest Ndayisenga plays his tee off shot during Round 3 on the 3rd hole at Kigali Golf Course on Friday. Sam Ngendahimana.

RWANDA’s Ernest Ndayisenga held off Kenyan Justus Madoya and Denis Anguyo of Uganda to clinch the 2018 MTN Rwanda Golf Open title on Saturday.

Ndayisenga was crowned on Saturday night at the par 71 Kigali Golf Course, becoming the first Rwandan to win the annual tournament since Jean Baptiste Hakizimana in 2014.

The golfer returned a total 273 gross, four strokes ahead of first runner-up Madoya – having sunk a 2 under par 69 on the last day. Hard-charging Madoya fired a 67 on Saturday.

Speaking to Times Sport after lifting the title, a visibly beaming Ndayisenga said: “It feels unreal, it is incredible to finally win this title after several failed attempts.”

Ndayisenga pocketed Rwf10million in cash prize.

He is the country’s leading golfer since Hakizimana moved to the United States in 2015 and the sharp decline of Emmanuel Ruterana.

He noted, “It had been a competition for foreign golfers to win since 2014, I am very happy this time the title is staying home. I would not wish for a better end of my 2018 season.”

Ndayisenga, who hit a tournament-best 65 in the third round on Friday, had shot a 70 in Round 2 on Thursday and a 69 the previous day in the opening round.

Joseph Karaja, another Kenyan, completed top three of the four-day competition after falling one solitary shot off compatriot Mudoya.

Ugandan Denis Anyugo (284) finished fourth while Kenya’s Sullivan Muthugia – also with a total 284 – finished in fifth place. Rwanda’s Olivier Munyaneza settled for the sixth position.

Aloys Nsanbimana retained the title in amateurs category.

The event was contested by a total of 119 golfers from nine countries; Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Belgium and hosts Rwanda.