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Uganda Golf Union Expresses Readiness For Competition Restart

The Uganda Golf Union is buoyant ahead of the return to the course.

The Union has expressed readiness ahead of the Uganda Golf Open this month, their first competition since sports was halted in March due to the pandemic.

“We are very prepared, we have been preparing since March we have been following incidents and looking at all possible ways of how we can hold this event this year,” Golf Union Vice President John Katto told The-SportsNation.

“We are determined that we will have the event, under whichever circumstances we will have and now here we are and right now we are absolutely ready to host an international event under the SOPs that have been established because everyone’s safety and health involved is paramount.”

John Katto (right) and UBL representative Anet Nakiyaga

Despite the challenges, Katto is confident that the Union is going to have an event that’s going to be done at international levels and very successful.

A kitty totalling up to Sh100m will be split between 30 professional golfers who will be awarded according to merit.

Katto who doubles as the Golf Open tournament director, revealed that there will various changes for this year’s delayed tournament.

“As you might know, the tournament for the past years had a whole week for the ladies, whole week for the amateurs and whole week for professionals to make it a three week event, but now because of the covid-19 and sponsorship responsibilities we decided to shorten the event so that its done with the ten days,” he explained.

“So, we looked at the calendar, looked at how the play usually is and we looked at the course we have, and the course is resilient enough.

“We have the amateurs on third and fourth day, their tee-off is in the morning and the professionals follow behind them, why because the numbers are manageable.

“The course as it is in this rainy season can manage 500-550 players or even 600, but because of the format we have done, we will be very happy to have around 460-480 players and right now 370 have already registered so far and we are expecting more to come and register.”

Katto revealed that the biggest group of international players have come from Kenya who are about 30.

Around 78 foreign players have registered, coming from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Cameroon, Nigeria and France.

The Uganda Golf Open has been boosted by Sh100m in cash from Tusker Malt Lager who make a return after a hiatus.

With no fans allowed to attend, the tournament will be broadcast on NBS.

Katto commented: “Its going to be virtual for the fans, its going to be broadcasted live on NBS especially the last day of the ladies, amateurs and professionals days.

“We are going to have many hours of live broadcast, but on the top of that, we are going to be doing live-scoring from our portal and we are going to have features, information about whats going on during the day and a Magazine which is going to be updated daily.”

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