Uganda: Classic Madalisto Wins Uganda Open

16 September 2019

Zambian Muthiya Madalisto underlined his status as one of Africa's best golfers after he held off a pretty lethal field to win the 14th Castle Lite Uganda Professionals Open in Kigo on Saturday.

Carrying a five-shot lead at -9, Madalisto's experience came to the fore with a final round of level-par 72 for an aggregate score of 279 gross to defeat the pressure group comprising his friend Zimbabwean Tongoona Charamba and record five-time winner Kenyan Dismas Indiza.

"I haven't won a tournament since last year (Ivory Coast Open)," Madalisto articulately remarked after picking Shs41m ($11180), biggest chunk of the $50000 (Shs183m) purse.

"I am very happy to do it this week," he said upon becoming the third individual to win the Open more than once.

Unlike his 2015 win where he finished behind amateur Ronald Otile, Madalisto had all the limelight with the gallery clapping as he walked onto the 18th green for par, endless pats, hugs and selfies following his four-shot triumph.

"I am sure everyone wanted Dismas to win but I more Ugandan than you Dismas," Madalisto said, crowd laughing.

The Zambian needed to cancel plans to the Asian Tour in India last week after a visa delay and instead opted to come to Uganda, which paid off. An opening round of 72 had him fifth and moved top after a joint-course record of 66 on Day Two and kept top with three-under 69 on Friday.

Chasing Indiza had fired a bogey-free new course record round of nine-under 63 to move to second on -4 and was five strokes within the reach of Madalisto when teeing-off on Saturday.

After a birdie on par-5 Hole No.2, Madalisto struggled with bogeys on No.3, 6 and 7 which brought Indiza a shot within thanks to his birdies on No.1, 2 and 10 but only to sandwich bogeys on No.7 and No.8.

But the Open literally done after Madalisto carded an eagle on par-5 No.13 after Indiza had picked a double-bogey and bogey on the previous two holes.

"I just stuck to my guns. I didn't even realize I had a one-shot lead," Madalisto would say, "I was a bit unfortunate on the first nine. Momentum switched on No.12 and I got an eagle on No.13," he added.

Uganda's best was Phillip Kasozi who tied in 13th place, Abraham Ainamani tying 24th whereas twin Opio Onito came 31st.

But the Open literally done after Madalisto carded an eagle on par-5 No.13 after Indiza had picked a double-bogey and bogey on the previous two holes.

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