Whoever designed the annual Singleton Match Play Challenge ought to be knighted.
Last Saturday (January 22)’s qualifiers for Season Six of the highly-popular event was another reminder of why the competition, that is played at the par-71 Entebbe Golf Club, remains a stand-out competition on the Uganda Golf Union calendar.
As always, there was first-class organisation, a massive turnout of golfers from all clubs, good and bad scores which is a given in the game anyway, and most importantly a boisterous 19th hole that lived up to its lofty heights under the dress code theme of ‘Las Vegas.’
The cut-off aggregate net total was at 152. The lowest net was played by the pair of Sean Kinsella/Dejan Stepanovic who returned brilliant scores 64 and 65 for a total of 129. The second-best pairing was the two Kagombes Edrea/Charles who played 69 and 64 for a total of 133.
But there were some shock failures on Saturday and they included previous Singleton winners Isaac Mariera/John Muchiri, Michael Tumusiime/David Nambale, Wendy Angudeyo/Doreen Mwesigye and Michael Muhangi/Andrew Opio.
Next month’s opening round of the Singleton Match Play Challenge was drawn on the 19th hole and will see Kinsella/Stepanovic take on Mark Rubatsimbira/Sam Kamugisha, John Katto/Hassan Kiyemba play Ronald Osekeny/Casper Tevin Okiru and Peace Kabasweka/Sheila Kesiime lock horns with long hitters Fred Kimbugwe/Joseph Kimani.
However, Uganda Open champion Joseph Cwinya-ai/Hatwib Katoto failed to qualify. Other notable failures were Henry Ssali/Darius Mugisha, Milton Edimu/Lloyd Busulwa and Hannington Mpiima/Joseph Bogera.
The Las Vegas 19th hole was electrified by Lilian Mbabazi and the Sundowners band, with Patrick Idringi aka Salvado throwing golfers in bouts of laughter as the event MC.