John Lejirma shows off his plaque after winning the 2020 Uganda Amateurs Golf Open in Kampala

2020  Tusker Malt Uganda Amateur Golf Open Championship:

  • Champion: John Lejirma (Kenya): 75, 72, 69, 71 – 287
  • 1st Runners up: Joseph Kasozi (Uganda): 72, 78,71, 69 – 290
  • 2nd Runners up: Christopher Baguma (Uganda): 75, 72, 72, 73 – 292

Scratch golfer John Lejirma from Kenya triumphed at the 79th edition of the Uganda Amateur Open Golf Championship that climaxed on 4th December 2020.

The Kenya Railway Golf club member tallied a combined score of 287 strokes over four competitive rounds played at the par 72 Uganda Golf Club in Kampala.

Lejirma was three strokes ahead of Uganda Golf Club member Joseph Kasozi who finished with a total of 290 strokes.

John Lejirma celebrates with the plaque at the 18th hole of Ugana Golf Club, Kampala (Credit: Timothy Okiror)

Handicap 2 golfer Kasozi had taken the famous day one bragging rights with a level par score – 72 on the opening round.

His game worsened on day two with 6-over 78 as Lejirma bettered with a level score.

On day three, Lejirma had a phenomenal round of 3-under 69 to Kasozi’s 1-under before the final round where the victor had 1-under and Kasozi returned 3-under.

During round 4, Lejirma had 6 birdies on holes 1, 4, 6, 8, 13 and 15.

“The turning point of my victory was on day three. I played the best golf during round three where I virtually did a lot of good approach shots and putting” he added.

John Lejirma with caddie John Walusimbi (right)

“This feels good to win such a prestigious tournament. I am very happy. Actually, my caddie (John Walusimbi) played the game” he stated in his victory speech moments after the final putt at the 18th pin.

Coming to this event, Lejirma acknowledged having had excellent preparations for the tournament including winning an internal club match play event.

“I was prepared for this event. I trained well for a long time. Before coming to Uganda, I event won a match play event at Kenya Railway Golf Club” he added.

Joseph Kasozi, runners up receives his prizes (plaque and golf kit) for the hard earned sweat
John Lejirma is congratulated by Kenyan colleague (Credit: Timothy Okiror)
Winner John Lejirma showered with beer by Kenyan comrades (Credit: Timothy Okiror)

Entebbe Golf Club’s Christopher Baguma, who plays off handicap 3 completed the historic event with a total of 292 strokes to take third place.

Uganda Golf Club president Moses Matisko flanked by the Tusker Malt brand manager Phillip Nantamu handed over the trophy to the champion who succeeds another Kenyan, Daniel Nduva who had won the same tournament in 2019 at the par 72 Lake Victoria Golf and Spa resort course.

L-R: Phillipa Nantamu, Moses Matisko and the 2020 Uganda Amateur champion John Lejirma

We are delighted as the Uganda Golf Union having hosted this event in the post COVID-19 era in full compliance to the Standard Operating Procedures as wearing masks, regular hand washing, sanitizing, temperature testing and physical social distancing. We thank the National Council of Sports (NCS), golfers, sponsors, marshals and everyone whose contribution to have a successful tournament can not be underestimated. We are humbled for the cordial relationship.

Moses Matisko, President Uganda Golf Union
Moses Matisko, President Uganda Golf Union

I am excited that this year’s open took place amidst the threat of the Coronavirus pandemic. We worked well with the Uganda Golf Union (UGU) and National Council of Sports to ensure that the tournament happens. UBL has a long relationship with UGU and our strong connection to golf had this event happen and successfully.

Phillipa Nantamu
Phillipa Nantamu hands over prizes to John Lejirma

Other top performers:

Single handicap player Michael Alunga was the day 1 and 2 gross winner with a total of 146 strokes having played 4-over 76 and 2-under 70 for a total of 146 strokes.

Another single handicapped golfer Ibrahim Bagalana had 1-under 71 and 3-over 74 to amass 145 and win the day 3 and day 4 best golfer.

Dr Alex Coutinho (handicap 1) was the outstanding seniors (55+) gross winner with a total of 351 (87, 89, 85, 90).

Morris Ashaba, playing off handicap one won on countback with 291 in the nett category.

A handicap 5 golfer Ashaba had 2-over 71 on day 1, 4-over 76 on day 2 and 3 as well as 7-under 65 on day 4.

Marvin Kibirige had the same score for second place and Silver Rugambwa was a stroke behind to claim the third place.

John Golf Club member Joseph Ngobi Kowa (left) won the nearest to the pin competition

Side bets:

Marvin Kibirige won the longest drive contest and Joseph Ngobi Kowa took the prize for the nearest to the pin competition.

This signature event on the Uganda Golf Union calendar attracted a total of over 130 golfers from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, France and Sweden.

With Martha Babirye having won the ladies event, the onus is on Zimbabwean professional golfer Robson Chinhoi to win the paid ranks event with the closing round on Sunday, December 6, 2020.

After three rounds, Chinhoi led with difference of 7 strokes with (206 in three rounds) coming to the final day ahead of the Ugandan duo of Phillip Kasozi (213) and Deo Akope (214).

Amateur Category:

  • 1932 – H.Davidson (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1933 – H.Davidson (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1934 – R.W Hooker (Muthaiga Golf Club)
  • 1935 – J.D Rankine (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1936 – J.D Rankine (Uganda Golf Clun)
  • 1937 –  H. Davidson (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1938 – R.W Bun (Mombasa Golf Club)
  • 1939 – J.E Higginson
  • 1940 – 1947 – NOT HELD
  • 1948 – D. F Stewart (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1949 – A.Q Roberts (Kitale Golf Club)
  • 1950 – N.C Elwell (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1951 – N.C Elwell (Mwanza Golf Club)
  • 1952 – J.R Cooke (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1953 – R.W Hooper (Nairobi Golf Club)
  • 1954 – M.Johnson (Kabalae Golf Club)
  • 1955 – J.R Oglive (Kitale Golf Club)
  • 1956 – J.R Oglive (Kitale Golf Club)
  • 1957 – Ian McAdam (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1958 – Brian Malone (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1959 – Ian McAdam (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1960 – Mike Johnson (Mbale Golf Club)
  • 1961 – Mike Johnson (Mbale Golf Club)
  • 1962 – Mike Johnson (Mbale Golf Club)
  • 1963 – John Higginson (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1964 –  John Higginson (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1965 –  Muhammed Rajab (Nairobi Golf Club)
  • 1966 – John Higginson (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1967 – I.Pattinson (Dar es Salaam Golf Club)
  • 1968 – G.Burrows (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1969 –  M.Rajab(Nairobi Golf Club)
  • 1970 – M.Couma (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1971 – J. Kahugu (Sigona Golf Club)
  • 1972 – Ben Okello (Masaka Golf Club)
  • 1973 – Tom Taban (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1974 – Alex Okodan (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1975 –  Ramathan Kayamba (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1976 – Sadi Onito (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 1977 – Sadi Onito (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 1978 – Sadi Onito  (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 1979 – 1980 – NOT HELD
  • 1981 – Juma Jaffer (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1982 – Juma Jaffer (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1983 – Sadi Onito (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1984 – John Mucheru (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1985 – Sadi Onito (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 1986 – Sadi Onito (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 1987 – Sadi Onito (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 1988 – Sadi Onito (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 1989 – Allan Njoroge (Muthaiga Golf Club)
  • 1990– Dedan Kagonyera (Kabale Golf Club)
  • 1991 – Sadi Onito (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 1992 – Juma Jaffer (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1993 – John Gavin (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1994 –  Sadi Onito (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 1995 – Sadi Onito (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 1996 – Sadi Onito (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 1997 – Steven Birungi (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1998 – Steven Birungi (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 1999 – Steven Birungi (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 2000 – Deo Akope (Entebbe Golf Club)
  • 2001 – Deo Akope (Entebbe Golf Club)
  • 2002 – Deo Akope (Entebbe Golf Club)
  • 2003 – Charles Yokwe (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 2004 – David Odhiambo (Nyanza Golf Club)
  • 2005 – Charles Yokwe (Jinja Golf Club)
  • 2006 – Amos Kamya (Entebbe Golf Club)
  • 2007 – Nicholas Rokoine (Muthaiga Golf Club)
  • 2008 – George Olayo (Entebbe Golf Club)
  • 2009 – Peter Ssendaula (Entebbe Golf Club)
  • 2010 – Brian Mwesigwa (Kabale Golf Club)
  • 2011 –Rogers Byaruhanga (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 2012 – Phillip Kasozi (Uganda Golf Club)
  • 2013 – Peter Ssendaula (Entebbe Golf Club)
  • 2014 – Willy Deus Kitata (Entebbe Golf Club)
  • 2015 – Ronald Otile (Tooro Golf Club)
  • 2016 – Ronald Otile (Tooro Golf Club)
  • 2017 – Ronald Rugumayo (Tooro Golf Club)
  • 2018 –  Ronald Otile (Tooro Golf Club)
  • 2019 – Daniel Nduva (Nyali Golf Club)
  • 2020 – John Lejirma (Kenya Railway Golf Club)

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

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think Cancel reply