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Chioba, Mamudu win International Pairs, head to Portugal 

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A retired Major General, E.R Chioba, and Haruna Mamudu, a former Assistant Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs, at the weekend became the Nigerian champions of the 2021 International Pairs held at IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja.

Chioba and Mamadu carded 79 Stableford points over two days, to clinch the ticket to the world International Pairs final billed for Pinheiros Alto Golf Course, Algarve, Portugal from October 26 to 30.

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The Nigerian final had a roster of 60 players, made up of 30 pairs drawn from across the country. 

A former national winner, Julius Fadairo, partnered ASK Makinde to finish in the second position, with 78 Stableford points, while another former champion, Bayo Alli paired with Mohammed Suleiman to place third with 76 points.

Mrs. Grace Ihonvbere, the past winner of World Corporate Golf Challenge 2020, paired with Jide Akinyemi and garnered 74 points to place fourth.

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Chioba, who plays golf off handicap-8, commended the event organisers, Falcon Golf Development Company, for staging the two-day national final. 

He said they merited their victory, adding that they played robustly and focused golf over two days, returning 40 and 39 points respectively. 

He also boasted that local knowledge would come in handy when the world final tees off next month, having previously played in Algarve and most of the golf courses in Portugal. 

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“I have travelled far and wide and the International Pairs is an opportunity to visit Portugal once again. I play golf almost every day, as l have retired from the military. With the way we are playing, l hope we can win the world title,” Chioba said. 

His partner, Mamudu, assured him that they would step up their preparation before leaving for Portugal knowing full well that they will be representing the country.

He summed up the national final as hectic while thanking Chioba for providing the support and encouragement that allowed the partnership to thrive.

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I have a stroke on every hole plus a tendency to get more points. But we require that synergy and at the same time that encouragement from his part. When you hit your ball and he commends you, whether good or bad, gives you the impetus to do the right thing,” Mamudu, who plays off handicap 23 declared. 

Chief Executive Officer of Falcon Golf, Remi Olukoya, thanked the players that graced the final despite the challenge of many players being away for summer vacation. 

He said the International Pairs world final is an all-expense-paid golfing experience where between 35 and 40 countries are fully represented.

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Olukoya assured they would work from next week towards processing the visas for the team and the accompanying delegation.

“The International Pairs and the World Corporate Golf Challenge are the biggest available amateur golf tournaments in the world. Anybody that is lucky to win will be having a great time. But you need to realise that the reason we are doing this is to raise funds for our golf academy to develop the next Nigeria’s professionals. And we are in this for a long haul, not for a short term,” Olukoya said.

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