Uganda’s golfer Rugumayo reflects on ‘dream’ Big Easy debut

The Kampala Golf Club member, Ronald Rugumayo, is an affiliate member of the Sunshine Tour and while he boasts two starts on the circuit, this week’s event in the East Rand was his maiden Altron Big Easy Tour start.

Uganda’s leading golfer, Ronald Rugumayo, says despite missing the cut in the second tournament of the Altron Big Easy Tour at Reading Country Club this week, he is extremely impressed with the level of competition on this Sunshine Tour’s feeder circuit.

The 30-year-old played in the Zimbabwe Open and the Zanaco Masters earlier in the season, an experience he cherishes to this day.

While rounds of 76 and 76 were not enough to see him make the cut in his first appearance in the Altron Big Easy Tour, Rugumayo was thoroughly satisfied with everything that came with his debut after an invitation was extended for him to test himself on this circuit.

Rugumayo said his aim this week was to get used to the environment here in South Africa because he would like to play more tournaments in the country.

“This is a good tour, well-organised and run professionally. It is every African golfer’s dream to compete against the best players and South Africa is the home of African golf. These guys are among South Africa’s finest golfers and to get an opportunity to compete against them is a dream for anyone,” he explained.

A step further

Rugumayo said this week was tough because of the weather.

“Even though I didn’t perform the way I would have liked, I am not too disappointed because, with every tournament I play, my game gets elevated to the next level just because of the stiff competition here. I have never played golf in such cold conditions but it was also a lesson for me to take home and prepare myself better for the future,” he said.

Rugumayo, however, is no stranger to competition, having won numerous tournaments in his native Uganda. And, while he may be unknown to many, Rugumayo is confident that with the experience he has accumulated in playing international events such as the Magical Kenya Open and the aforementioned Sunshine Tour events, in no time, he will be among Africa’s elite golfers.

He reiterated that it is the experience that counts more.

“You have to learn from different parts of the world and for me, South Africa is the place. You can see South African players everywhere in the world of golf. They are performing at a high level and I want to reach that level too someday,” he said.

Rugumayo’s dream is to have a full membership of the Sunshine Tour, “But I know it’s not easy”.

“So for now, I will continue to play the tournaments I get invited to and see where to go from there. But as I said, for me the target is to work my way to a level where I can be a strong enough golfer to compete on the Big Easy Tour and ultimately, the Sunshine Tour,” he said.

The Altron Big Easy Tour was established in 2011 to provide players who don’t have Sunshine Tour playing privileges, like Rugumayo, an opportunity to hone their skills while preparing for life on the main tour.

And with the Sunshine Tour consistently seeking to find avenues of making golf accessible to the rest of the African continent, Rugumayo and those who follow him can find peace in knowing that their chance of playing with and against the very best on the continent will come.

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