2018 Castle Lite Uganda Amateur Golf Championship:

Top 5 performers (After 4 rounds) – Gross category:

  • Overall Winner: Ronald Otile (Uganda) – 67, 73, 71, 74
  • 1st Runners up: John Karichu (Kenya): 70, 68, 76, 75
  • 2nd Runners up: Edwin Mudanyi (Kenya):66, 76, 76, 68
  • 3rd Runners up: Herman Deco Mutebi (Uganda): 71, 71, 73, 75
  • 4th Runners up: Josephn Cwinyaai (Uganda): 71, 77, 70, 73
Ronald Otile with a powerful Tee shot off the 10th Tee-box on the final day

Ronald Otile was a class act as he won the 77th edition of the Castle Lite Uganda Amateur Golf Championship at the par 71 lake side Entebbe Golf Club on Saturday evening.

The South African based handicap one golfer, a student at Tuks University was unbeaten enroute claiming his third major championship, following earlier back to back victories in 2015 and 2016.

Otile, a member at Toro  Golf Club in Fort Portal returned a course one over par total aggregate 285 in four rounds over 4 days (72 holes action), a stroke better of Kenya’s Limuru club player John Karichu.

The aggressive albeit composed golfer, celebrating his 22nd birthday on the day returned four under 67 in the opening round, slipped to two over 73 during the second day, putted level 71 on the third day and finished with three over 74 to take first place with an eye catching birdie off an explicit putt on hole 18 during the final day.

Three time winning caddie Douglas Mugisha with the 3 time champion Ronald Otile

I have a lion’s heart. I managed to recover from six stroke down during the final day action after a mess on hole 11. I salute my winning caddie Douglas Mugisha. We believed that we could pull off an amazing performance and here it is. I thank my fellow golfers for the challenge throughout the four days. I thank the Ugana Golf Union and particular members who have facilitated my stay in the University alongside my brother Daniel Baguma. We shall not disappoint.

Ronald Otile, winner sof the Uganda Amateur Golf Championship in 2015, 2016 and 2018

Hard battling Karichu, playing in the same pressure group as the winner and Entebbe based Herman Deco Mutebi staged a brilliant challenge throughout, returning 70, 68, 76 and 75 over four rounds to amass a total of 289.

Vetlab Club member in Kenya Edwin Mudanyi, the day one leader settled for third place as home boy Mutebi was fourth overall.

John Karichu drives off on final day

Other recognized top performers:

Mutebi won the best scores over two days (one and two) with a consistent 71 score apiece as Toro Club’s Joseph Cwinyaai won the day three and four best gross scores with 70 and 73.

Entebbe Street club sponsored Herman Deco Mutebi gestures during the final round in Entebbe. He finished fourth overall

Ashraf Bagalana, playing off handicap 5 was the best nett player in the tournament with 77, 76, 79 and 80.

Edwin Mudanyi who led on day one with 66 gross ended in third place overall

Bulhan Matovu and Habib Kissande took second and third places respectively in the nett catergory.

Cabinet minister in charge of Karamoja affairs John Byabagambi was the best senior golfer in the gross catergory, scoring 87, 89, 92 and 86 for a total of 384 gross in four days.

John Byabagambi, the Cabinet minister in charge of Karamoja affairs was best senior golfer in gross catergory

Pius Omara, handicap 18 scored 78 stable ford points over 36 holes to win the subsidiary catergory.

Ivan Ssekulima (75 points) and Geofrey Orach (74) were the first and second runners up respectively in the subsidiary catergory.

Tournament director, John Katto hailed the high level of competition exhibited by the golfers throughout the tournament as he also lauded the sponsors (Nile Breweries under the castle lite brand).

We had a great tournament with high level of competition shown by the golfers. I thank the sponsors for making this happen.

John Katto, 2018 Uganda Amateurs Golf Open tournament director
John Katto (tournament director) with the winner Ronald Otile

Castle Lite brand manager Julian Ssentamu, too expressed gratitude for the leverage accorded by the tournament and vowed to continue financing this championship.

International referee Vincent Wangombe from Kenya appreciated the great state of the course in Entebbe as well as the competitive golfers and supportive gallery. He however cautioned the supporters to always respect the laws of this game as they cheer the players.

Gallery on the final day following the pressure group

Entebbe Golf Club was hosting the championship for the third time since 2009 and 2013.

The open had been won by Ronald Rugumayo in 2018, another Toro club member.

Rich History:

Sadi Onito (R.I.P), is the greatest amateur golfer to grace Ugandan golf scene having won the Uganda Open a record 12 times, having won the tournament in 1976, 77, 78, 1985, 86, 87, 88, 89, 1991, 94, 95 and 1996.

Other golf legends who have remarkable records include the late Juma Jaffa, who won the event 1981, 82, 1992 others are the late Dedan Kagonyera in 1990.

Uganda Professional Golfers Association captain Deo Akope, like Otile also did a treble with three consecutive wins in 2000, 2001, 2002.

Another Toro club member, Stephen “Tiger Woods” Birungi, recorded a similar feat from 1997, 98 and 99.

Mike Johnson from Mbale Golf Club won four times in 1954, 1960, 61, 62 while John Higginson won it in 1963, 64, 66.

The picturesqure Lake Victoria Serena Golf Course and Spa will host the 2019 edition.

Nile Breweries Limited under the Castle Lite were the anchor sponsors of this tournament alongside other partners as Britam, Ernst and Young, Gems Cambridge College, among others.

Focus quickly switches to the long awaited professionals catergory this week.

The professionals have two days of practice (Sunday and Monday) before the Pro Arm tournament tees off on Tuesday.

The pros will be battling for the total kitty of $ 50,000 (at least Shs. 185M).

Roll of Honour since 1994:

  • 1994 – Sadi Onito (R.I.P)
  • 1995 – Sadi Onito (R.I.P)
  • 1996 – Sadi Onito (R.I.P)
  • 1997 –  Stephen “Tiger Woods” Birungi
  • 1998 –  Stephen “Tiger Woods” Birungi
  • 1999 – Stephen “Tiger Woods” Birungi
  • 2000 – Deo Akope
  • 2001 – Deo Akope
  • 2002 – Deo Akope
  • 2003 – Charles Yokwe (RIP)
  • 2004 – David Odiambo (Kenya)
  • 2005 – Charles Yokwe (RIP)
  • 2006 – Amos Kamya
  • 2007 – Nicholas Rokoine (Kenya)
  • 2008 – George Olayo
  • 2009 – Peter Ssendaula
  • 2010 – Brian Mwesigwa
  • 2011 – Rogers Byaruhanga
  • 2012 – Phillip Kasozi
  • 2013 – Peter Ssendaula 
  • 2014 – Willy Deus Kitata
  • 2015 – Ronald Otile
  • 2016 – Ronald Otile
  • 2017 – Ronald Rugumayo
  • 2018 – Ronald Otile

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

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