Joseph Cwinyaai putts. The reigning Uganda Open champion has also previously won the Venus Golf Open

2021 Tusker Malt Uganda Golf Amateur Championship:

  • Overall winner: Joseph Cwinya-ai (Uganda): 75, 73, 71, 68 – 287

Joseph Cwinyaai was crowned as champion of the 2021 Tusker Malt Uganda Amateur Golf Open championship at the par 71-lake side Entebbe Club on Saturday, 27th November.

The Tooro Golf Club member also the Uganda national golf team captain returned a total of 287 gross over 72 holes played in four days.

Joseph Cwinyaai follows his ball in flight (Credit: David Isabirye)

Cwinyaai, 26, attributed the feat to resilience over the years, patience and continued hard work.

“I knew and believed that this open was mine this year. I worked hard and was focused throughout the four days. I thank everyone who helped me achieve my dream from the sponsors, friends, Tooro club members and former winners Ronald Rugumayo, Ronald Otile and others” Cwinyaai attested.

Joseph Cwinyaai swings off (Credit: David Isabirye)

How he did it:

Cwinya-ai, a handicap two golfer started with 4-over par 75 on the opening round.

He bettered with 2-over 73 during round two and was level par by the third day, trailing the leader Lejrima by 4 strokes going into the last round.

Joseph Cwinyaai with his prizes at the prize giving ceremony on the 19th hole (Credit: David Isabirye)

Eventually, he won by 3 strokes after a 3-under 68 on the final 18 holes, relegating the defending champion to the second position.

Cwinyaai boldly attests to turning professional after the achievement following years of near finishes.

“Surely, I will turn professional to earn from the game” he confirmed.

2020 champion John Lejirma, from Kenya was runners up with 290 gross mark in 72 holes.

Tournament referee Edwin Tumusiime briefs the golfers in main pressure group (Credit: David Isabirye)

The Kenya Railway Golf Club member started off with the same score as Cwinyaai during the opening round (75), was level par for 36 holes, 2-under on day three and 4-over on the last day of action where he landed in the water hazard on the 18th hole before putting.

Lejirma had secured the title from another Kenyan Daniel Nduva in 2019.

Namulonge Golf Club member Tom Jingo finished third with 291, the same score as Zambian Chanda Bwembya.

The amateur championship had followed the Ladies open won by Irene Nakalembe during the previous week and the seniors event claimed by John Muchiri.

Focus and attention switches to the Professionals event that tees off on Tuesday with the PRO-AM category.

The professionals will battle for Shs. 100,000,000 in the 72 holes action that will close business for this year’s Uganda Golf Open series.

Tusker Malt was the main sponsor. The other partners included absa Bank Uganda, Abubaker Technical Services, Britam, Case Medical, Egis Road Operations, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, Crown Beverages, Pinnacle Security and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB).

Part of the gallery on the final day at Entebbe Golf Club (Credit: David Isabirye)

Final leaderboard: Top ten

  • Joseph Cwinya-ai (Uganda): 75, 73, 71, 68 – 287
  • John Lejrima (Kenya): 75, 71, 69, 75 -290
  • Tom Jingo (Uganda): 76, 75, 69, 71 – 291c/b
  • Bwembya Chanda (Zambia):72, 72, 73, 74 – 291
  • Marvin Kibirige (Uganda): 72, 75, 71, 74 – 292
  • Bulhan Matovu (Uganda): 71, 74, 75, 73 – 293
  • James Koto (Uganda): 76,75,70, 73 – 294
  • Denis Asaba (Uganda): 77, 71, 73, 74- 295
  • Ibrahim Aliga (Uganda): 75, 73, 73, 75 – 296
  • Elton Thembo (Uganda): 77, 76, 75, 70 – 298

Day 1 &2 Gross

  • Musamba Kapoma (Zambia): 74, 70- 144c/b

Day 3&4 Gross

  • James Koto (Uganda): 70, 73 – 143

Nett winners:

  • Ronald Mugisha (HC7): 72, 66, 68, 74 – 280 nett
  • Marvin Kibirige (HC2): 70, 73, 69, 72 –  284 c/b
  • Ibrahim Aliga (HC3) 72, 70, 70, 72- 284

Longest drive: Elton Thembo

Joseph Cwinyaai and his caddie Isaac Newton (Credit: David Isabirye)
Joseph Cwinyaai celebrates with his fans (Credit: David Isabirye)

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

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