Kenya dethroned Uganda to become only the second nation to win the Africa Zone IV Golf Championship played at the par 72 Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa in Uganda.
Uganda had won both the previous two editions of the tournament and expected victory as they hosted the third edition, with the tournament marking its return for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kenyans picked up an early advantage on Friday as they emerged winners of the stroke play championship played over 72 holes, collecting 11.5 points.
The Kenyan team was also unstoppable during the match play event to emerge, as overall winners, ending Uganda’s hold on the competition.
Uganda had come second during the stroke play event with 10.0 points, setting up a face-off between the two countries under the match play format.
Eventually, Uganda’s team captain Joseph Cwinyaai fell to Kenya’s John Lejirma 5/4 with Godfrey Nsubuga losing to Kenya’s Adel Balala 4/3 in one of the single games played.
Cwinyaai expressed concern over the team’s preparations which affected the team’s cohesion:
“We trained really late. We lacked cohesion and team chemistry. We hope to bounce back strongly in the Victoria Cup,” Cwinyaai stated.
While the team coach Flavia Namakula credited the team for the effort saying: “I give the credit to my players for the brave show even though we did not win.”
“We have picked important lessons from this tournament and going forward, we ought to improve on a few aspects of our game, particularly the approach.”
Kenya captain Denis Maara and Micheal Karanga showed immense team cohesion as they defeated Ugandan duo Denis Asaba and Ibra Bagalana 4/3 in the foursomes.
Bagalana was a last-minute addition for Micheal Alunga who fell sick after playing the first two rounds.
“We worked as a compact team right from the preparations to the tournament proper. Our training was spot on and we attacked the fairways aggressively. We deserved this victory” Maara disclosed.
Meanwhile, Rwanda finished third overall, with Tanzania finishing fourth while Burundi came fifth ahead of Ethiopia who finished sixth.
Uganda now turns their focus on preparations for the Victoria Cup.
Africa Zone IV Golf Championship 2022 Final Results:
Godfrey Nsubuga (Uganda) Vs Adel Balala (Kenya) *Balala won 4/3
Joseph Cwinyaai (Uganda) Vs John Lejirma (Kenya) *Lejirma won 5/4)
Denis Asaba & Ibra Bagalana (Uganda) Vs Dennis Maara & Michael Karanga (Kenya)
*Kenya won 4/3