The last day of #VictoriaCup2016; a chilly Sunday came about and the draws were done a few minutes to 8am.
The coaches left to brief their teams and they started emerging from their locker rooms (we don’t have those in Golf but it makes for a perfect analogy :-p) with #TeamKenya wearing spotless white polos and #TeamUganda in bloody red polos. If you are like me who grew up watching Tiger Woods at his prime, then you know that Tiger always played in a Red polo on Sundays… and when you see him in Sunday red then you knew it was going to be bloody; whether he is in the lead or not. But I digress.
As the teams made it to the first tee, we all knew that Uganda needed to win 7 matches to lift the Victoria Cup Trophy donated by Moses Tanui while Kenya needed to win only 5 matches. The first of the Single Matches to tee off was the duo of Ronald Rugumayo – Uganda and Agil Jamal – a Kenyan 15 year old who had won all his previous matches paired with another 14 junior, Martin Kibugu who will be representing Kenya in the British Open. But I digress once again.
I got back to the KGU offices to finish up on the draw list designs and waited for the teams to get on the back 9 where I’d whip out the Canon 5D and my “Sunday Special” Lens, the Sigma 300-800mm that I thought was going to restrict my movements as I was knackered and follow the teams. Shock on me!
When they got to the 10th tee, Kenya was only leading in 2 matches! This was going to be harder than I thought. The Ugandan boys brought their A* game! I started snapping to catch every moment… the drives, the chips, the putts, the bunker shots, artistic shots, rules clarifications, the reliefs… every moment as this was going to be a battle.
Fast forward to that iron second shot on the 17th that Kenya Captain Bo Ciera hit to 2 feet from the pin followed by the 20 foot putt that the 15 year old Joel Basalaine from Uganda drained and the battle for the title went to the last tee.
I congratulated Joel and nervously asked Bo Ciera to bring it home. Joel teed of first to land in the middle of the fairway as Bo landed on the rough. Bo’s 2nd shot brought him to the fairway a little over 120 yards to the pin. Joel hit his 2nd and landed on the extreme left of the 18th green. Interviewing Bo Ciera later he said, “I knew I couldn’t take him on with power and that is where my experience came in.” Bo hit a pin seeking iron shot that landed him within a feet to the pin… It is at that exact moment that I labeled Bo as the #PinHunter. Joel hit his putt to bring him closer to the pin but it broke to the left and that is the exact moment when Kenya triumphed.
UGU President, Johnson Omolo in his speech at the prize giving ceremony gave his highlight of the day, “two accidents happened today, The hole in one by John Lejirmah on the Par 3 13th and that pin seeking shot by Capt. Bo Ciera on the 18th.” I was only but happy to have been here to capture those moments among many others. I ended up with over 400 shots from this last day and I have tried my level best to bring you the best shots. Below is the mega gallery, indulge.