Unheralded golfer wins Lugalo Open 

11Jun 2019
Mohammed Ugasa
The Guardian
Unheralded golfer wins Lugalo Open 

MUFINDI-born and brewed professional golfer, Frank Mwinuka, chalked one over par 73 to beat club-mate Abdallah Yususf by a single shot and win this year’s edition of Lugalo Open championship that ended in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

A Lugalo Club golfer competes in a past tournament that took place at the club ‘s course in Dar es Salaam.

A total of 23 professionals featured in the rescheduled tournament that also attracted over 200 amateurs who played 36 holes for two separate days.

Dazzling and in-form Mwinuka spectacularly teed off with cracking tee shots to claim an avalanche of pars up to dog-leg par five sixth where he eagled, before dropping a shot at the subsequent hole.

He recovered with a birdie at the par four eighth but another bogey at the par three ninth slacked his composure to reach the turn with one under 35.

His turbulent back-nine saw him conceding costly double bogey at the pond-intimidating par four 16th after overshooting the sparkling green.

Mwinuka returned a two over 38 for the winning total, 73, the best score of the day enough to hit the podium.

Second-placed Yusuf teed off nervously to concede three back-to-back bogeys up to the par four fourth when his adrenalin cooled off to return into the game; picking up pars for three over 39 outwards. While the back nine was highly challenging for most of the competitors, the home-grown golfer proved otherwise with unblemished one under par 35 for a total two over 74.

Third-placed among the professionals was Isaac Wanyeche who had an outward score of three over par 39  before tightening his grip to even at 36 and lose title chase by paltry two shots.

Bryson Nyenza concluded the top four with five over par 77 as he  posted two over 38 at the end of the front nine  and then returned at the clubhouse with additional three over 39 strokes.

Professional trio of Frank Roman, Athumani Chiundu and the towering Hassan Kadio all tied for fifth with identical seven over par 79. Only 14 pros were awarded with prize money out of the 23.

Fireworks exploded in amateur category as the winner was declared after a nerve-wrecking three-ball play-off at the end of the regulation 36 holes.

Seif Mcharo, Henric Nyenza and Isaac Daud  had tied at 152 gross before going into the dramatic playoff at the par fours seven and eight then par three ninth.

Nyenza carried the day with a victory after posting 78, 74 scores. Daud had posted 72, 80 and Mcharo carded a 77, 75 ahead of claiming the play-off encounter.

However, three handicapper Mcharo was consoled with division A runners-up net award losing to Simon Baraka by a single shot. Nine handicapper Baraka netted 67, 78 for a total 145 strokes.

Korean duo of Jung Kyu Hwa and Tiger Lee claimed the Division B net awards with 76, 74 and 73, 76 net totals respectively.

Division C winner was Doto Kitinusa for his 76, 76 to beat Valentino Mkatinyo who netted a two day consistency of 77 scores.

Korean golfer Jin Soo Yang  scored 74,77 to beat Dar Gymkhana Club’s Salvatore Rwabizi (76,81) to win seniors categosy.

 As usual Angel Eaton won the overall Ladies’ crown.

Amanda Mlula (74,75) and Zumla Hassan (74, 81) won the Army Ladies awards for beginners, respectively.

Nearest to the pin at the par three 9 was won by Godfrey Kirenga as Isaac Daud and Angel Eaton claimed Longest drive awards for men and ladies, respectively.

Deputy Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Juliana Shonza presided over the longest-ever prize presentation ceremony that ended close to mid night.

Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) backed the tournament and promised to extend support in the next edition.

Host club golfers dominated the tournament as the rest came from Morogoro, Mufindi, Moshi, TPC Moshi , Kili and Arusha.