Ronald Rugumayo displays his overall trophy at the 19th hole during the official prize giving ceremony Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE
  • 75th Uganda Golf Amateur championship:
  • Overall Winner: Ronald Rugumayo (299 Strokes – Over 74 holes) *Won on sudden death
[/media-credit] Ronald Rugumayo displays his overall trophy at the 19th hole during the official prize giving ceremony Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

In light of the adage that ‘champions are former losers who refused to quit’, Toro club scratch golfer Ronald Rugumayo has reaped and finally emerged as a victor.

Over the years, Rugumayo has striven, first as a caddy, then an artesian and now he is in the Uganda Golf Hall of Fame as a winner of the prestigious Uganda Amateur Golf championship.

The handicap 00 national team golfer being helped by the winning caddy Lawrence Marino patiently worked for his way to success.

It goes without a saying therefore, winning the 75th championship at the par Uganda Golf Club Course in Kampala is justification of his hard toil.

[/media-credit] Winning caddy Lawrence Marino carries his master Rugumayo in celebration after a successful putt on hole 18 Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

He posted 299 strokes over 72 holes in the four-day action, the same as defending champion, Ronald Otile before winning via a sudden death.

“I am happy to win. This is beyond personal victory. I thank the Uganda Golf union, sponsors, my home course and the entire golfing fraternity,” he attested to the 19th hole gallery during the official prize giving ceremony.

How Rugumayo won

Rugumayo recovered from dismal showing on the opening day with a course 8 over par 80 gross score.

This time, he was 4 strokes shy of the day one leader, Otile.

On day two, he bettered his score to 6-over par 78 and played an outstanding round on day 3 with a 3 under par 69 gross to take charge of the leader board.

This meant the pressure group on the final day would be constituted of Ronald Rugumayo (Uganda), Kenya’s Samuel Njoroge, another Ugandan Roddell Gaita and long hitter, Otile.

Playing with Otile on day 4 was good enough.

I knew, among the 4, he (Otile) was the player to beat.

He is a long hitter but I would also stick to my approach and putt game. The strategy worked for me and I am happy to be a winner

[/media-credit] Ronald Rugumayo with a long drive at the 12th Tee on the final day Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

On day 4, both Otile and Rugumayo posted level par – 72 and the two golfers had to go for a sudden death play-off on three holes – 12, 17 and 18.

He registered a birdie on 12, same as Otile had a par. On the par 3 hole 17, Otile nearly scored a hole-in-one before putting for a birdie.

Rugumayo was as composed as he had been for the rest of the 4 days and chipped well to the greens before putting with success for a birdie.

Then came the final 18th hole, he got a birdie and Otile struggled.

Over the 4 days, 432 amateurs (main event and subsidiary groups) took part in the event that remained a very close contest right from the opening day.

Toro club members celebrate with Rugumayo on the podium Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

The would be winner was hard to predict since each day produced a new twist of events.

Defending champion Ronald Otile took day one with a level par 72 gross.

He was dislodged on day two by UPDF golfer Richard Baguma.

On Day three, Rugumayo had a phenomenal 3- under par  69 to take joint leadership at the open.

Professional calling

Rugumayo has a chance to turn professional, a decision he needs to consult with his sponsors.

“I would love to turn professional but first, I will consult with my sponsors,” Rugumayo told Kawowo Sports.

[/media-credit] Otile (right) congratulates Rugumayo after the sudden death play off Credit:

For his exceptional display, the sponsors (UBL) have promised to sponsor him for the 2017 Nyali Open championship in Mombasa with green fees, pocket money and a return air ticket.

The Uganda open series will conclude next week with the Pro-Am and the professionals.

Defending champion Joshua Seale has indicated he will return to defend the championship.

[/media-credit] UPDF Golfer Richard Baguma scored 147 to win the best gross score over 36 hole on day 1 and 2 Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

Final day results:

  • Overall winner: Ronald Rugumayo – 299 (Gross) – Won on sudden death after birdies on 12, 17 and 18
  • Runners up: Ronald Otile – 299 (Gross)
  • 3rd: Paul Muchangi – 300 (Gross)

Gross Winners – 36 Holes

  • Days 1 & 2: Richard Baguma – 147 Gross
  • Days 3 &4: Samuel Njoroge – 145 Gross

Gross 18 Holes Winners:

  • Day 1: Ashvin Kananathan – 74 Gross
  • Day 2: Tiyale Gethaneth Bogale – 73 Gross
  • Day 3: Andrew Byaruhanga – 73 Gross
  • Day 4: Ismail Muhamood – 71 Gross

Nett Catergory:

  • Winner: Angel Tumwesigye – 293
  • Runners up: Godfrey Nsubuga  – 295
  • 3rd: Andrew Chelogoi – 297

Seniors Catergory:

  • Winner: Onyango G.M – 339 Gross
  • Piga Mingi Winner: John Kato – 381 Gross

Longest Drive:

  • Joseph Cwinyaai

Subsidiary Catergory:

Group A:

  • Winner: Pierre Ascedu – 68 Points
  • Runners up: Joseph Ngobi – 67 Points
  • 3rd: David Scanlon – 66 Points

Group B:

  • Winner: Michael Monne – 70 Points
  • Runners up: Charles Kagombe – 66 Points (Count Back)
  • 3rd: Joseph Akena – 66 Points

Seniors Catergory:

  • Winner: Smith Bill – 64 Points
  • Runners up: Charles Katarikawe – 62 Points

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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