Kenyan ladies face uphill task

SPORTS-GOLF-MERCY NANCHAMA. Kenyan Lady Golfer Mecy Nanchama.[Maarufu Mohamed,Standard]

Kenyan lady golfers once again launch their long-time rivalry against neighbours Tanzania and Uganda in the 2017 edition of the Uganda Ladies Golf Open championships.

The Kenyan golfers are yet to show their dominance in the event and are among 64 golfers from Tanzania, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and hosts Uganda in the three-day tournament.

The players will compete in the 54-hole stroke-play championships that begins today at the Kampala City's par-72 course.

The 13 Kenyans, among them seven subsidiaries, are led by Golf Park's Agnes Nyakio and club mate Mercy Nyanchama, both playing off handicap 4. They should be in their best form when they come up against a strong team of 15 Tanzanians led by handicap 3 Madina Idd and handicap 5 Eaton Angel.

Fielding 36 golfers, Uganda have the largest brigade in both the main and subsidiary categories. They will however depend on Entebbe's hard-hitting handicap 5 golfer Irene Nakalembe for glory.

Nakalembe, who has for a long time played and lived under the shadows of defending champion Flavia Namakula, will have the perfect chance to redeem herself. She will be joined by the youthful Eve Magala and Harriet Kitaka.

The final of the Tusker Malt Lager-sponsored championships will take place at the end of the month.

After the ladies' action, focus will switch to the 75th Amateurs Open championship at the same venue from September 13-16, before winding up with the professionals from September 27-30.

South African Joshua Seale and Uganda's Ronald Otie, who are the defending champions in the professional and amateurs categories respectively, have confirmed participation.

Uganda Breweries Ltd (UBL), through its flagship premium beer Tusker Malt Lager, handed over the sponsorship kits to the Uganda Golf Union (UGU).

The ceremony was presided over by UBL Head of Beers Estella Muzito, Marketing Director Juliana Kaggwa, UGU President Johnson Omolo, Vice President and Tournament Director Innocent Kihika and the Uganda Ladies Golf Union President Maxi Byenkya.

Other sponsors include MAC East Africa, UAP Old Mutual, Case Medcare, HTC, Capital FM and Ekspresso.

Omolo said they were ready for the championships and assured all players to be ready for action.

"Again, we have players from several African countries. We believe it will be a good tourney," he said.

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