TANZANIA Arusha Gymkhana Club (AGC) golfer Neema Olomi surprisingly returned 229 gross over 54 holes to win 68th Uganda Ladies Open title at Entebbe Golf Club in Entebbe, Uganda over the weekend.
Speaking from Entebbe yesterday, Olomi said it was her first major title outside the country and that was her toughest competition. She said she didn't even expect it to have ended that way.
"I did not expect the win after a dismal start of 80 gross in the first 18 holes, but I steadied my hand in the second round to sink an impressive 74 gross that restored hopes somehow," she said.
Olomi went into the final round with four shots off the pace, but stunned others with an impressive 75 gross to win the title by two shots. She took the title from her teammate and the national team member, Angel Eaton who last year won it with an aggregate 235.
The competition was tough for Olomi whose nine-over 80 gross in the first day made her finish 10th at leaders board, and four shots off the overnight leader.
Though her win confirmed that country has abundant talent when it comes to ladies golf. Olomi who recently failed to qualify to play for national team that went in Ghana for the All Africa Challenge Trophy (AACT) and finished second, managed to beat the East Africa's top golfers and clinch the coveted trophy.
Ugandan Martha Babirye, the leader in opening two rounds, eventually settled for the second place after carding an aggregate score of 231 strokes (76,76,79).
Host and event's favourite, Irene Nakalembe once again failed to win it, this time around finished third with 233 strokes (77,76,80). Defending champion Eaton from Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) Lugalo Golf Club of Dar es Salaam failed to win the event for the fourth time after winning it in 2017, 2013 and 2012 and finished fourth with 234 (79,77,78).
Ugandan Gloria Mbaguta (77,85,74) finished fifth overall on count back after tying with Tanzanian, Hawa Wanyeche from Lugalo on 236 strokes.
This should have been Hawa Wanyeche's tournament to win after carding 78 and 75 day one and two, but her poor 83 strokes in the final cost her dearly. Wanyeche eventually settled at sixth place at leaders board.
Ayne Magombe also a Lugalo member who had strong start, endured poor finish with 81 and 90, however she was awarded the Best first round prize.
Ugandan Minister of State for Works, Monica Ntege who is also the President of AACT, graced the event by playing a round during weekend event.
Olomi is a fourth Tanzania golfer to win the Uganda Ladies Open. Others are Eaton who won recently, Magombe and Tanzania Golf Union (TLGU) Sophia Viggo.