Sunday, 4 January 2015

Golf: Nigerian Season Begins with Benue State Governor’s Cup

It is official, the Benue State Governor’s Cup which tees off on Tuesday, will flag off the Nigerian professional golfing 2015 season. The tournament which affords the players a slice of the prize fee of N10 million will be played over 72 holes at the Otukpo Golf and Country Club, Akpegede.

A full field of Nigerian and other international professional golfers from Ghana, Cameroon and Sierra Leone will grace the showdown and expectedly give it the shot it truly deserves when it ends on Friday.
Benue State Governor’s Cup has traditionally presented the Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria (PGAN) the first challenge into the year.

Ghanaian golfer Emos Korblah is the player bookies are tipping to win, considering his tournament winning ratio on the course where he is the resident professional golfer.

While reviewing the schedule with THISDAY, the nation’s number three ranked player, Gift Willy, vowed that the Korblah would be given a run for his money because some of the players are willing to step up their game.
Willy is one the crop of players including Gboyega Oyebanji and Oche Odoh who spent the Yuletide in Otukpo after an 18-hole kitty organised on Christmas Day by Francis Ulo in order to have a feel of how the course is playing.

‘’Those of us who decided to stay have an advantage to be familiar with the course as well as an edge over the people who are just coming. Though I have won a couple of times in Otukpo, but the truth is that we want to give Korblah who knows the terrain a challenge. In addition, the season is now dry unlike when it is wet so it going to be a different ball game entirely, ’’Willy who won in Equatorial Guinea towards the end of the year said.

Otukpo has carved a niche as Nigeria’s home of golf. The course, owned by Senate President David Mark played host to seven professional golf engagements in form of kitties and order of merit tournaments.

And it will be no different this year as the professional field will play its second event in the rural setting this month, when the players return for Pa Mark Tournament at the end of the month.

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