Cwinya-ai headlines Venus Open as Tusker Malt Golf Series tees off

By Thomas Odongo 
Playing on home course, national golf team captain Joseph Cwinya-ai shot a gross score of 70 to emerge overall winner of the Venus Open played over the weekend at Toro Club in Fort Portal.
The Venus Open also doubled as the opening leg of the Tusker Malt Golf Series with the latter returning after a five-year halt. The legs of the series will also serve as the Uganda Golf Open Tours events.
The win is Cwinya-ai’s first major triumph this year with local golf activities starting to gain steam with lots of tournaments lined up throughout the year.
Cwinya-ai was rewarded with goodies and a trophy after his impressive display on the greens. His focus now shifts to the Windsor Classic that will be held in Kenya.
However, lady golfers Judith Komugisha and Lilian Koowe came close to Cwinya-ai as they led the ladies category posting gross scores of 75 and 84 respectively.
Golfing couple Charles and Edrea Kagombe were the top Seniors with Charles scoring 71 nett in the men’s category while Edrea scored 75 nett in the ladies’ category.
Speaking to the media about the series, Tusker Malt Regional Sales Manager, Jasper Otim emphasized the brand’s position on golf and why the series is very important.
“I am very excited about this series. The Open is all that we hoped it would be and this is just the beginning. The vision is to make golf more accessible to people and more inclusive so that everyone that has passion for the game can play,” he said.
“It is tournaments like this that lay the groundwork toward what we are trying to achieve,” he added.
The night also included a prize giving ceremony at the 19th Hole that saw golfers and guests serenaded by a band which played tunes from Ugandan folk contemporary, RnB, Soul among others.
At the same event, Bernard Baguma, Toro Club Captain expressed his gratitude towards the golfers and sponsors for the successful tournament.
“I cannot tell you how happy I am that we got to do this again and very successfully. Today’s tourney is one that we always look forward to on our calendar and the fact that we got to do it with Venus and Tusker Malt makes it all worthwhile,” he said.
“I want to thank members of the club, the golfers that came out to play,” he added.
Other winners include: Nsubuga Godfrey who won the prize for Men’s Longest Drive, Janet Kabayonga for Ladies Longest Drive while Titus Okwong and Judith Komugisha took the prize for  Men’s Nearest to the Pin and Ladies Nearest to the Pin respectively.
The next stop on the Tour is Lugazi with the Mehta Open that is expected to take place on March 18 and then to Arua City for the Arua Open that is slated to take place in June.
Summary of results: 
Men’s Group A – Handicap 7-12: 
*Winner – George Kahihura H/C 8 – 72, 
*Runner Up – Emmanuel Komugisha H/C  7 – 72  and 
*1st Runner Up- Albert Mwebwe H/C 12 – 72
Men’s Group B – Handicap 13-18:
*Winner- Eriah Byaruhanga H/C 15 – 72
*Runner Up – Mutesasira Kitengo H/C 15 – 72
*1st Runner Up – Andrew Isagara H/C 14 – 72 
Men’s Group C – Handicap 19-28:
*Winner-  Polly Rwandekeye H/c 28 – 70 *Runner Up – Denning Yampa H/c 36 – 77
*1st Runner Up- Masaba Brian  H/c 22- 79
Ladies Group A – Handicap 0-18:
*Winner – Robin Angom H/C 14 – 75
*Runner Up – Anne Abeja H/C 8 – 76
Ladies Group B- Handicap 19-28:
*Winner – Florah H/C 25 – 65 , 
*Runner Up – Rossett Tuguma H/C -69
Ladies Group C-Handicap 29-39:
*Winner – Aisha Kamsime H/C 29 – 69 
Seniors Ladies – 55+; 
*Winner – Edrea Kagombe – 75 nett
*Runner Up – Jill 
Seniors Men Age 55-65:
*Winner – Charles Kagombe – 71 nett *Runner Up – Bwango Smart – 73 nett
Men’s Longest Drive – Nsubuga Godfrery 
Ladies Longest Drive – Janet Kabayonga 
Men’s Nearest to the Pin – Titus Okwong
Ladies Nearest to the Pin – Judith Komugisha.

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