African Tour expects seven countries at Independence Day Championship
The October 1 Championship, which is the fourth edition of the African Tour’s annual event, is usually staged to mark Nigeria’s Independence.
He said the Nigeria@59 championship would tee off tomorrow and end on October 1 at the Port Harcourt Golf Club, adding that players from seven African countries, including Ghana, Cameroun, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea and hosts Nigeria, would battle for honours in this year’s tournament.
He noted that the annual independence tournament had become the best-attended event on the Tour, adding,
“Last year, a record number of spectators enjoyed the fun at the Port Harcourt Club’s Golf Section when Ghana’s Vincent Torgah claimed the title.
“This golf tournament, which features some of the game’s top players in the region, has gained a reputation over the years as the most raucous event on the African Tour, and for good reason.
“The 18th and 9th holes of the host course of this event are home to one of the most enthusiastic crowds on the African Tour.”
The tournament director explained that there would also be some smaller events organised as part of activities to mark the Independence tournament.
“This year’s tournament is nearly a week long, spanning over two weeks.
“On Thursday and Friday, the pros will play practice rounds to get ready for when each stroke counts.
“There will also be a ‘Beat The Pro Contest’ amongst young players whose ages range from 6 to 18, where any player who beats a pro by having his or her ball closer to the pin than the pros will win a gift voucher worth $100.
“The fun really begins on Friday with the qualifying event for new pros seeking a spot in this year’s event. It is a one-day contest featuring pro golfers paired with scratch amateurs.
“The actual tournament officially begins on September 28 where a lot of notable golfers around Africa will be out to make the cut,” he said.
Some of the notable players expected to feature in the tourney are defending champion, Vincent Torgah from Ghana, 2016 and 2017 champions, Nigeria’s Andrew Odoh and Kingsley Oparaku respectively.
Others are Cameroun’s Priestly Nji, the winner of the 2019 Shagamu Cup, Francis Epe, winner of the 2019 South-East Shoot-out, and Emos Koblarh, the number two player in the Order of Merit (O. D. M.).
The rest are Olapade Sunday, who is the number three in the Order of Merit, Gift Willy (number five) and Mike Ubi (number six).
With just four events left before curtains fall on the 2019 Tour season, players will be looking to win, as victory would help them improve their positions on the Order of Merit from the tournament that offers 4,000 merit points.