Bagalana doing his thing

Elite group – Top 5

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Abbey Bagalana 146

Deco Mutebi 148

Ronald Otile 148

Adolf Muhumuza 149

Henry Lujja 150


Professionals – Top 10

Herman Mutawe 142

Fred Wanzala 145

Saidi Mawa 146

Vincent Byamukama 148

Deo Akope 148

Abbey Bagalana is a freewill spirit. The Crane Bank sponsored and former national team player stepped on the first tee of his second round as rain was falling heavily on nine-hole par-72 Jinja Golf Club, he felt a little at home.

“Most of my winners come during such conditions,” Bagalana said after winning the eighth Eskom Open championship over the weekend. “I’m used to tough conditions, funny I was praying for it to keep raining.”

Having lost in last year’s edition on a sudden death play-off on hole 18, Bagalana started sluggishly returning scores of 79 but as heavens opened up, the Uganda golf club member up the ante.

Bagalana returned the lowest final round score of 67. He birdied seven of the first nine holes to make the turn in 7-under 29, added birdies on 13 and 14 before a long rain delay, and then returned to make it four in a row with birdies on 15 and 16.

Last year’s winner Ronald Otile finished tied for second with Deco Mutebi with similar scores of 148nett two shots behind Bagalana, while first round leader Adolf Muhumuza was further a shot on 149 nett.

Bagalana received a diadem, brand-new professional golf kit and one-year sponsorship worth Shs15.8m from Eskom for golf events.

Bagalana, a man who is famed for a clinical short game was also the brain behind Buganda Inter-Regional tournament as coach in Entebbe early this month.

Mutawe second round show

Uganda golf club Herman Mutawe toppled a strong field of professionals shooting a 142 nett to win his second Eskom Open pro title category on a ghastly course.

Having finished third last year, Mutawe closed with 3-under 68 score in the second round after a slow first round (74 scores) but birdies at Nos. 10, 11 and 15, and entered the par-4 18th to beat second  placed Fred Wanzara by 3 shots, latter returned scores of 75 and 70.

“The course is tough at the moment because of the rains and my drive was spot on. One has to really carry the ball,’’ said Mutawe who took the whale share (sh5m) from the Shs10million jackpot staked by tournament sponsor Eskom.

Jinja-based professional golfer carded scores of 71 and 75 in the first and second round respectively to finish third.

First round leader Vicent Byamukama, Deo Akope and Grace Ocici finished tied for fourth with scores of 148 gross in a competition that attracted 28 professional golfers from different clubs around the country.