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Kenya’s top amateur Balala aims at lifting Uganda Open title

GOLF By Maarufu Mohamed | November 24th 2021
Adel Balala displays his winning trophy of the Coast Open. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

Kenya's top amateur golfer Adel Balala is off to Uganda as he seeks add more titles to his bag in this year’s 80th edition of the Uganda Golf Open Championship being played at the par 71 Lakeside Entebbe golf course, in Uganda.

The Nyali-based golfer, who is Kenya's top amateur and world number 146, has just comeback to the country from participating in the 2021 Central Gauteng Open Golf Championship in South Africa.

He finished the 54-hole strokes play placed 16th overall with a round total of one under par 215 gross, short of 13 strokes to the lead.

He left immediately to Uganda to try and add more victories in his bag from the event that tees today to November 27.

Balala will face off with some of his compatriots including Michael Karanga from Ndumberi, who is second in Kenya and the event’s defending champion John Lejirma from Kenya Railways.

Last week, Lejirma was among three Kenyan golfers Naomi Wafula and Samuel Njoroge who was to compete in the Lagos Open Golf Championship, in Nigeria from November 18-November 21, a move that would have seen him miss the Uganda Open.

But Lejirma failed to attend the Nigerian tourney at the last minute following logistic issues. This move saw him miss on points since it was an international event that counts towards the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR).

The Uganda Open dubbed, “Tusker Malt Uganda Open”, started with Ladies Open on November 18 and was won by home Player Irene Nakalembe with a round total of 222 gross. Kenya’s Mercy Nyanchama, from Vet Lab, was second with a total of 238 gross.

After the amateurs event, the Pro-Am takes stage November 30 and professionals, who’s defending Champion is Zimbabwean Robson Chinhoi, will start from December 1-4.

Among other Kenyan professionals is the youthful Mathew Wahome alongside Coast Lady professional Bhavi Shah.

Mathew has also just returned from Malawi after playing in the 2021 Seed Co Lilongwe Open Golf Championship where he tied fifth with Zimbabwe’s Kombai on a round total of 296 gross each.

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