Jastas Madoya shot a superb six under par 65 in the opening round of the Uganda Open to headline a dominant start by Kenyans at the par 71 Entebbe Golf Club.
Madoya’s superb round made up of an eagle and six birdies on a day he only dropped two shots, on the front nine, was enough to earn him the day’s bragging rights and a two shot lead ahead of Zimbabwe’s Visitor Mapwanya. It was a dream start for the Great Rift Resort player as he led five Kenyans in the top 10 places.
Compatriot Jacob Okello rolled back the years with a resounding display to move to joint third. Okello had a strong start sinking back-to-back birdies in the opening two holes but a pair of bogeys on the fifth and eighth holes restricted him to level gross on the front nine. The veteran switched on the turbo on the back nine with a flawless show made up of back-to-back birdies on the 14th and 15th and crowned the day with another deserved birdie on the 18th for a rare podium appearance in recent times.
In what is shaping to be a fight between Kenya and Zimbabwe, Chinhoi’s five birdies and two bogeys ensured that matters at the top of the leaderboard remained even going into the second round. The defending champion’s three under 68 was enough to keep the Kenyans in check.
At the close of the opening round its advantage Kenya with five players in the top 10- Madoya, Okello (T3), Dismas Indiza (T5) and Tony Omuli (T5) and Mike Kisia (T5) while Zimbabwe has three players Mapwanya, Chinhoi (T3) and amateur Bwembya Chanda (T5) in the top 10 mix.
Not to be left behind, the home players led by Philip Kasozi (T5) and Abraham Ainamoi(T5) raised the hopes of the host nation of ending the title drought on a day veteran Deo Akope fell short after shooting one over par 72.
LEADERBOARD DAY ONE
J Madoya 65
V. Mapwanya 67
J. Okello 68
R Chinhoi 68
D Indiza 69
A Omuli 69
M Kisia 69
P Kasozi 69
B Chanda 69
A Ainamoi 69