Fresh from his massive eight shots victory in the Entebbe Open at the weekend, Justus Madoya from the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort will be the man to beat as a field of 53 professionals converge at the magnificent Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa course in Kigo, Uganda for the inaugural Pam Golding Safari Open.
Madoya, who also doubles up as a preacher and will be teeing off at 11.30am in Wednesday’s round, produced his best performance ever in his pro career, a nine under par total of 275 gross, to clinch the Entebbe Open at the century old Entebbe Golf Club course.
He attributed his brilliant performance to the condition of the course particularly the greens which he said were compressed to his liking. "It was easy to make birdies at Entebbe because of the greens which allowed you to easily stop the ball where you want," said Madoya at the weekend.
He said the victory has boosted his confidence and motivated him to replicate his performance at Lake Victoria Serena as well as the Malawi Open where most players will be proceeding soon after this week’s tournament.
"I hope to play well at Lake Victoria probably better than during the Uganda Open since I now know the course well particularly the condition which will be better this time round," added Madoya who before the Entebbe Open, was struggling particularly during the third leg of the Safari Tour at Royal Nairobi Golf Club where he tied at 20th place with Kenya’s youngest professional Mathew Wahome of Nyali on 302.
To take him on at Lake Victoria, will be the long-hitting Dismas Indiza who made a last minute dash to the top at Entebbe with two successive rounds of 69 though it was an improvement coming rather late as he could only manage one under par total of 283.
As a long hitter, the course at Serena will probably be favouring him more than Madoya especially having produced an excellent performance to lose the Uganda Open to Zambia’s Madalitso Muthiya only in the closing round. Another player to watch this weekend will be Uganda’s Herman Mutawe if he will be able to carry his Entebbe form, which saw him finish third on level par 284, to Kigo.
Another Kenyan pro Greg Snow who has not been very lucky in Uganda, will also try and showcase his Sunshine Tour form which saw him narrowly miss two cuts in South Africa and E-Swatini.
The strong Kenyan contingent of 25 pros includes Royal Nairobi’s Erick Ooko who lost his home event to Golf Park’s Tony Omulli in a play-off, while also seeking his first Safari Tour title will be former Uganda Open champion Robson Chinhoi who took an early first round lead at Entebbe with a brilliant seven under par 64 before fading away to eventually tie for fourth place with Kenya’s Kopan Timbe on one over par 285, just a shot better than Snow and John Wangai.
At stake this weekend like the Entebbe Open, will be Sh1 million prize where the winner will take home Sh150,000. There will be a cut at the end of round two where the top 20 players plus ties will proceed to the last two rounds. Also those who are members of the Safari Tour and who will have made cut, will earn some points towards the “Road to Magical Kenya Open 2020’’.