This was supposed to be the year a Ugandan ended the nine-year wait for the Uganda Open title, particularly with Ronald Rugumayo leading the 2023 Johnnie Walker Uganda Open for the first three rounds. However, one man was determined to spoil the celebration at the par 72 Uganda Golf Club in Kitante. Kenya’s Dismas Indiza, a familiar face in Ugandan golf with six previous prestigious title wins, aimed to extend his record on day four. Despite being four strokes behind going into the final round, everyone knew he couldn’t be dismissed.
Indiza started the final day with great momentum, scoring an eagle on hole one followed by birdies on two, three, and five, narrowing the gap to Rugumayo to just one stroke. Rugumayo, playing in the second pressure group, faced challenges with bogeys on 6 and 11 and a double bogey on 9. Indiza seized the lead for the first time since the opening round.
Birdies on 13 and 16 enabled the Kenyan to finish with a remarkable 5-under 67, matching his second-round score, and securing his 7th Uganda Open title with a total score of 11-under.
“I had to play my game, sticking to what I’m familiar with. I felt no pressure, especially given my age and experience. I understand how things can unfold on the final day. I just wanted to play well and enjoy myself; this course feels like my second home,” Indiza said.
Rugumayo, on the other hand, attributed his struggles to putting, which he felt let him down. He finished at 8-under overall with a gross score of 280.
“I can’t quite explain it, but my putting was off today. I had difficulties with the greens, but that’s golf for you. Anything can happen,” he commented. Rugumayo scored one over par, 73, on the final day, his least impressive result over the four rounds.
Namibian Paulino Kasoma tied for second place with Rugumayo, while Philip Kasozi claimed the fourth spot. Zimbabwe’s Visitor Mapwanya and Kenya’s Njoroge Kibugu shared the fifth position.
Indiza’s victory earned him a prize of Ugx 21 million, while Rugumayo settled for Ugx 14 million.