Vincent Byamukama is the defending champion of the 2013 Tusker Malt Uganda Open, Professionals Category.
Having been a caddie for 11 years, Byamukama finally managed became an amateur in 2005 where he played till 2009. He was a member of team Uganda at the East African Golf Challenge hosted by the Entebbe Golf Club in 2009.
He turned a professional in 2010. His dream was to play the Uganda Open as a professional and from the look of things, his dream has come true.
Prior to his triumph at last year’s Tusker Malt Uganda Open, Byamukama had collected every golf accolade that was on offer in Uganda but the elusive Uganda Open.
We caught up with him during a practice session at the Uganda Golf Club, Kitante and below are the excerpts;
Qn: How prepared are you to defend your title?
I know that the people I will be playing against are professionals just as I am. I am aware of the fact that the whole field will be a good one. I do not want to get carried away by my exploits at last year’s edition because this year brings an entirely new challenge. This year, I want to try my best to be among the top five. God willing I might even go ahead and defend it.
There will always be a good and bad day. If I play poorly on Day One, I will not play poorly on the second day. I will try to improve. I want to defend it and I will try my level best to do so.
Qn: A strong field is expected at this year’s Tusker Malt Uganda Open. What will your strategy be?
In golf we are always advised that regulation is key. So if one plays level course, it is a good score. You play under, that is bonus. So I will try to play my best so as to get that score of under and get that bonus.I will also not play under pressure. I will just play it easy.
Qn: What do you think of the organization of this year’s tournament? The money injected and the overall preparations.
This year, the organization is very good. Eversince I started playing golf, I have never seen a tournament like this in Uganda. We have never played for that amount of money before. Every professional is ready. They are all on the range hitting the balls and I believe that all Uganda’s professionals will make the cut.
This year, Tusker Malt Lager has given us up to Ush100m in the professionals’ category and I have a feeling that the sponsorship is only going to get bigger every year.
Qn: What should we expect from the Ugandan participants at this year’s tournament?
We are home. So we have to take advantage of that fact. We know this course very well. It is not the first time we are playing on it. I know no one is going to play according to another’s game.
Qn: Do you have any specific target you are looking to achieve as an individual during this year’s tournament?
If I play poorly, I should be in the top ten. But my ultimate aim is to be in the top five. I know some people say that I had an advantage last year because the tournament was held at my home course (Entebbe). But this year, I decided to come early and begin practicing.
Over the weekend I have a tournament in Entebbe but starting Monday (August 18) till the tournament commences in September, I will be practicing on this course daily.