GALLANT Victor Joseph put up a spirited fight to retain the Tanzania Open Golf Championship Amateur category at Kili Golf Club in Arusha over the weekend.
Fresh from winning the 2019 Kenya Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Thika Greens Golf Resort in Kenya a month ago, national golf team ace Joseph marvelously added another title to his cupboard.
In his way to win this year’s title, Joseph was unstoppable from day one as he posted an aggregate score of 294, after four rounds of 72 holes.
Joseph impressively improved his score by two shots compared to the last time when he won the tournament in 2017 at same course.
In the tournament organised by the Tanzania Golf Union (TGU), Joseph started the event with 75 and 74 gross during Friday’s first and second rounds respectively in the tough 36 holes playing day.
To make it even interesting, he carded 71 on Saturday before closing with 74 on Sunday to seal the victory and beat over 50 top amateur golfers from Kenya, Uganda and hosts Tanzania at event that brought together over 150 amateur and professional golfers.
During the Kenya Amateur event, Joseph carded an impressive aggregate score of 215 stroke (73, 71 and 71) to become the first Tanzanian to win Kenya Open Amateur and Kenya Magic 2019.
The victory earned him a slot to European tour event. Joyful Joseph said: “I want to thank Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East Africa Co-operation Damas Ndumbaro for joining us, not only as chief guest but at the course of play. It really encouraged us and I also thank organisers and players for making the event possible. “My special thanks goes to my sponsor, Paul Wambasi for being a good supporter… he is one of those behind my success. He made it possible for me to play at his native Kenya during Kenya Amateur Open and brought me here too for this tournament. I cannot thank him enough for what he's done,” said Joseph.
Ugandan Chinai Joseph and Kenyan Mutai Kibugu posted aggregate score of 308 and 310 to finish second and third overall winners respectively.
Manraj Chadha of Arusha Gymkhana Club (AGC) carded a total of 291 nett, to win Division A nett category, while S. Mshubi had 292 in second place and hosts Michael Pallangyo scored 300 nett to finish third.
Joe Lee hit 149 nett to win the Division B title, in which golfers battled it out for 36 holes. Telji Bansal carded 156 to settle in second position, while third slot went to Elias Katwebazi with 166 nett.
Senior category title went to TGU Honorary secretary Boniface Nyiti with 162 nett beating on countback AGC's Penuel Uliwa, who posted the same score, as TGU handicap Secretary Said Nkya scored 167 to finish third.
Professional golfers, who battled it out for 54 holes included those from Malawi and Zimbabwe, with top prize going to Kenyan Dismas Indiza after posting an aggregate score of 221.
Chief guest Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation Damas Ndumbaro awarded trophies and other prizes to winners.
He reiterated the government’s commitment and full support towards the development of the game in the country.
“I want to promise that the government will continue to provide all necessary support towards the development of this game,” he said.