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Otile in line for UG open defence

Ronald Otile (down) and his caddie plot for a shot

Ronald Otile aims to win a hat-trick of back-to-back titles when the 75th edition of the Tusker Malt-sponsored Uganda Amateur Golf Open tees off this morning at the par-72 Kitante course, writes JOHN VIANNEY NSIMBE.

In 2015, Ronald Otile celebrated a rare double triumph by winning the amateur and professional titles. He successfully defended the amateur title last year.

However, Otile, fresh from attending a professional golf course in South Africa, faces stiff challenge from a handful of local rising stars and the strong field expected from Kenya in this year’s edition of the tournament.

“We don’t play tournaments there; it is only theory, gym work and body movements,” Otile explained about the course he attended in South Africa alongside compatriot Richard Baguma.

Otile and Baguma’s struggles on the greens were evident on the national team duty where both have performed poorly as Uganda lost the East Africa Golf challenge in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania last month and Victoria Cup to Kenya earlier this year in Entebbe.

National Team coach Amos Kamya concurs.

“They are in a golf school where you have to start from zero, every aspect of your game is readjusted.Otile’s swing has changed greatly and he struggles on our courses, but his experience gives him the edge,” Kamya said.

Adolf Muhumuza, who finished five strokes behind Otile last year, is among the favourites challenging for the title.

David Kamulindwa, Becca Mwanja, Titus Okwong, Ronald Rugumayo and veteran Stephen Kasaija are the other big-name local players to watch out for during the four-day event.

According to tournament director Innocent Kihika, 137 players including 12 national team players of Kenya, seven from Rwanda and four from Tanzania, will compete for honours.

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