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Nakalembe, Kibirige impress in West Africa pro golf tournaments

Irene Nakalembe has made strides as a Pro since making her debut last year and becoming the first Lady Pro to make the cut at the Open last year

Kampala, Uganda | PHILLIP CORRY | Irene Nakalembe and Marvin Kibirige are back home after impresing on their debuts in tournaments in  Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire recently.

Nakalembe was making her debut in Kumasi and returned scores of 72, 81, 78, 83, 314, enroute to victory in the 66th Vodafone Asantehene Open. She beat a field of 13 Lady Golfers from West Africa and South Africa June 14-17 .

“This has been such a great feeling and to be honest God made this possible for me,” Nakalembe stated in an interview. “It’s shown me that practice and prayer are always rewarded. At the same time it’s built my confidence and definitely opened my eyes even more.”

Marvin Kibirige, a member of the Uganda Professional Golfers Association, made his debut at the 26th Ivory Coast Open from June 20-23 making the cut on his first attempt and finishing 24, out of 30 Professionals from West Africa, France and East Africa. Kibirige shot rounds of 73, 75, 70, 78, 296 gross 8 over par.

“It’s a great experience and am learning from this,” Kibirige stated. “We don’t have many golf tournaments in East Africa but it’s always good to attempt those that are present outside East Africa, the Biggest challenge is sponsorship as individual golfers.”

Nakalembe also making her first attempt at the Ivory Coast Open, Ladies Category finished second with scores of 76, 78,73, 75 302 – 14 over par.

Abbey Bagalana, missed the cut as he was making his third appearance at this West Africa tour event.

Officials say this is an eye Opener for Uganda Professional Golfers Association, with there members yarning for a local golf tour it shows with sufficient support to individual golfers plus the association there is a possibility they can seek sponsorship to start it’s own tour.