Kenyan Edwin Mudanyi arrived at the deserted club house late at dusk but with the best score of five-under par 66 after Day One of the 77th Castle Lite Uganda Amateur Open in Entebbe yesterday.
On a rainy day when the gallery had earlier accepted two-time Open winner Ugandan Ronald Otile’s round of 67 to set the pace, the Kenyan national team star altered the script to take a one-shot lead at the par-71 course.
“My round was great,” keeping calm, Mudanyi told Daily Monitor upon freshening up at a time when few still had their attention on the course.
“I kept the ball on the fairways and hit a lot more to greens on regulation and made many putts,” the scratch player explained his show that included six birdies on Holes No.3, 4, 7, 9, 10 and 18.
It could have been a bogey-free outing but he had four strokes on the par-3 second hole. However, the man who tied in ninth place with Ugandan Herman Mutebi last year has a greater intent ahead of Day Two action today.
“I expect the course to be in similar conditions so not much will change on my game plan,” added Mudanyi.
South Africa-based Otile had earlier stolen the limelight when he walked out at lunch time with four-under par with a scorecard that read eight birdies on Holes No.1, 2, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 18.
But the 2015 and 2016 winner was pegged back by a poor shot out of the soggy bunker on No.15 and a terrible 16th tee-box shot to add to bogeys on Holes No.3 and No.9. “It should have been a better round but I will correct the mistakes going forward,” Otile said.
However, the field should be on alert that Kenya has raided Entebbe.
Mudanyi’s counterparts John Karichu and youngster Mutahi Kibugu are tied in third on one-under 70, well with-in touching distance.
Another Kenyan Samuel Njoroge, who took fourth place last year, is tied fifth with Entebbe darling Mutebi and, Tooro pairing of Joseph Cwinyaai and Denis Asaba on level.
1 Edwin Mudanyi (KEN) 66
2 Ronald Otile (UGA) 67
T3 John Karichu (KEN) 70
T3 Mutahi Kibugu (KEN) 70
T5 Samuel Njoroge (KEN) 71
T5 Joseph Cwinyaai (UGA) 71
T5 Herman Mutebi (UGA) 71
T5 Denis Asaba (UGA) 71
T9 Samuel Kato (UGA) 72
T9 Bulhan Matovu (UGA) 72