That Phillip Kasozi won the third Paulo Ngorogoza Memorial Open was a fitting inauguration of the picturesque 18-hole Garuga Golf Club (GGC)ourse in Kihihi, Kanungu on Saturday.
The Uganda Golf Club (UGC) Kitante-based scratch golfer shot an astonishing level-par 71 to edge Tooro’s Adolf Muhumuza (73) by two shots to enter GGC’s history books as the first-ever champion of a tournament held there as well as course record holder.
But what was more eye-catching was the impeccable manner in which the erstwhile national amateur team captain conquered the par-71 7,189 yard-long turf that had professionals brand it a ‘PGA Tour course’ after they returned horrific scores on Friday.
Kasozi set about his business like a house on fire tallying back-to-back birdies on the par-4, No.1, par-3 No.2 and then lined up a series of pars from spots of bother before sealing the front nine with another birdie on the treacherous course’s longest par-5, No. 9.
The back nine was a mix of the good and not so bad. Two birdies were overshadowed by a handful of bogeys and if he hadn’t three-putted on the short par-3 No.18, Kasozi would have ‘burnt the turf’ proper with a return of under-par.
“I have never seen anything like this anywhere in Uganda. This is the best course and thank you to Mr James Musinguzi Garuga for this new development,” said the former banker soon after receiving his prizes from Professor George Mondo Kagonyera, the Chancellor of Makerere University. His reward was a glittering trophy and a box of Kigezi Highland Tea, who sponsored the event.
Kasozi also won a tourism package consisting of two return air-tickets courtesy of Aero Link from Entebbe to Kihihi and two fully-paid-up nights for two at the lavish Mahagony Springs in Bwindi, all estimated at $2,600 (Shs6.76m).
“I am delighted to have won this inauguration event and I dedicated it to my friends – Johnnie Musinguzi and Raymond Kahigi – who I went with to King’s College Budo. We have grown to become brothers and are part of the Garuga family. I thank God that I was able to give them joy and make their dream come true.
I hate playing at up-country clubs but I am considering Garuga to become my home club starting next year.
Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, the Governor Bank of Uganda, presided over as chief guest at the successful event that attracted 95 amateurs and 14 professionals from clubs across Uganda.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor