Kampala. For Angel Eaton, her triumph at the Tusker Malt Uganda Ladies Golf Open on Saturday surpasses her previous triumphs attained across the continent. The Tanzanian toasted to her third title at the 67th edition of the three-day stroke-play championship at the par-72 Kitante course, only to reveal it was the sweetest of them all.
“This is a special win,” Eaton told Daily Monitor soon after receiving her trophy from Uganda Ladies Golf Union president Maxi Byenkya and Uganda Breweries Limited managing director Mark Ocitti, as she related to previous success stories at the Open in Uganda.
The Lugalo Golf Club player delivered a final round of six-over 78 for an aggregate of 235, to edge Uganda’s main hope Irene Nakalembe by two strokes. “This was the toughest of them all. I stopped playing for two years and I only started practicing in February. I thank God for this amazing talent.”
If the five and eight-stroke margin victories in 2012 and 2013 over Iddi Madina and Flavia Namakula, who finished second in those respective years, were a mere cakewalk, then Eaton is right to say this was no oat meal. With her mind yet to forget the cumbersome quadro-bogey on the par-3 Hole No.4 sandwiched by two double-bogeys in her dismissal round of 81 on Day Two that made Eaton lose her Day One one-stroke lead on 2016-joint runner-up Nakalembe after registering another bogey on par-5 No.1.
Final Day Surge
Teeing-off at the par-4 No.2, Nakalembe and Day Two joint-leaders Eaton and Iddi Madina were all level.
The trio exchanged leads throughout but Madina fell off the pace after the par-5 No.13. Nakalembe then enjoyed a see-saw affair with Eaton from the par-4, No.14.
The Entebbe-based ace even sank a sweet birdie on No,14 to take the lead. But she immediately lost her head after a double-bogey on the treacherous par-4 No.15 dubbed ‘Luwero Triangle’ where Eaton played for par.
Nakalembe bogeyed No.16 where Eaton managed par to go two shots clear. “This is where she left me,” Nakalembe would moan later after her round.
Lady luck stayed away from the Entebbe Ladies Open champion when her birdie shot kissed the cusp of the cup on the par-3 No.17.
Eaton even wore a wry smile – a sign of relief – as she headed to tee off on No.18. Here she bagged the Longest Drive of the pressure group and went to hole out for par, same as Nakalembe, before she was mobbed by about Tanzanians to celebrate a win on a course that continues to give her good outings.
UGANDA LADIES GOLF OPEN
Angel Eaton (TAZ) 76 81 78 235
Irene Nakalembe (UGA) 78 80 79 237
Iddi Madina (TAZ) 77 80 81 238
Agnes Nyakio (KEN) 77 82 80 239
Meron Kyomugisha (UGA) 79 85 78 242
Hawa Wanyenche (TAZ) 90 76 77 243
Martha Babirye (UGA) 77 81 85 243
Eva Magala (UGA) 83 81 81 245
Gloria Mbaguta (UGA) 82 83 80 245
Mercy Nyanchama (KEN) 82 83 85 250
SUBSIDIARIES – MEN
GROUP A: Nick Snyman – 74 nett
GROUP B: Paul Baite – 68 nett
GROUP C: John Mwangi – 72 nett
Joweria Namanda (UGA) 212 nett
Esther Okullo (UGA) 224 nett
NEAREST TO THE PIN:
Peace Kabasweka (UGA)
Hawa Wanyeche (TAZ)
Ayne Magombe (TAZ)
2003: Esther Okullo (Uganda)
2004: Rose Naliaka (Kenya)
2005: Sophie Viggo (Tanzania)
2006: Mary Karano (Kenya)
2007: Mary Karano (Kenya)
2008: Melissa Nawa (Zambia)
2009: Jasper Kamukama (Uganda)
2010: Flavia Namakula (Uganda)
2011: Flavia Namakula (Uganda)
2012: Angel Eaton (Tanzania)
2013: Angel Eaton (Tanzania)
2014: Flavia Namakula (Uganda)
2015: Flavia Namakula (Uganda)
2016: Flavia Namakula (Uganda)
2017: Angel Eaton (Tanzania)
VICTORY margin – LAST 6 YEARS
2017: Eaton won by 2 strokes
2016: Namakula won by 6 strokes
2015: Namakula won by 6 strokes
2014: Namakula won by 12 strokes
2013: Eaton won by 8 strokes
2012: Eaton won by 5 strokes
2011: Namakula won by 5 strokes
2010: Namakula won by a 1 shot
2009: Kamukama edged Karano in play-off