Lawal, Olowola, Onwu, win maiden Pro-Am Series One Golf Tournament
• Francis Epe is king of pros
A team of amateurs, featuring Akeem Lawal, Meka Olowola and Peggy Onwu has won the maiden Series One Pro-Am Golf tournament held at Ikoyi Club 1938, Lagos.
The event, sponsored by Giba Golf Nigeria and Zenera Consulting, among several other sponsors, according to the organisers, is aimed at supporting professional golfers, while enabling amateur players to improve their game.
The Series 1 Pro-Am tournament features amateurs and professionals from various clubs playing together as teams, each comprising three amateurs and one professional on a stableford scoring format.
After an exciting game, the amateur trio of Onwu, Olowola, Lawal, supported by professional, Monday Eze, won the tournament with 126 stableford points ahead of O.J. Ebong, Peter Okeke, Tony Onwu and Akinwande Oladipo, who came second with 124 points. The quartet of Paul Brisibe, Ogemdi Akalamudo, Fred Akalamudo and Friday Akpodiete came a close third with 123 points.
Meanwhile, Francis Epe emerged overall best professional player at the series by beating the first runner-up, Goke Ogunsanya, in the playoffs in a dramatic fashion.
The duo had tied overall best winners after playing the regulation 18 holes with 71 gross apiece and had to play hole 18 again in the playoffs.
While Ogunsanya’s drive from the teebox found a sand trap on the right and ended up a boogie, Epe drove the 315 metres par-4 dogleg right hole right to the green. Missing his eagle putt, Epe easily tapped in his second putt for a birdie to the admiration of the entire crowd, who cheered both players.
“I am very grateful to the organisers of this top tournament. Golf is mostly a mental game, and I was fortunate to be able to bring my A-game unto the course today,” Epe said.
Speaking at the prize presentation ceremony, Olowola, Managing Partner of Zenera Consulting, said: “We came out there today primarily to have fun and grateful to be able to participate in such an exciting tournament comprising perhaps the best pros and amateurs. It is, therefore, gratifying to have been a part of the team that won the overall best team despite the quality of players on the course.”
Fred Akalamudo of Giba Golf Nigeria, one of the major sponsors of the event, described the tournament as a success.
Akalamudo, who also played in the tournament, said: “The event was well attended by both spectators and players. Altogether, we had over 108 golfers who gave their best in a friendly but highly competitive atmosphere.
“Our aim is to support the pros and a big thank you to Ikoyi Club 1938 for providing this spectacular opportunity to achieve this.”
The tournament offered amateur golfers opportunity to play competitive golf at an advanced level, thereby sharpening their skills, while also promoting the professional golfers playing with them.
“More than often, amateur golf players see the professionals from afar,” said Ademola Osindero, Team Lead for the Pro-Am Golf Group.
“Here at Ikoyi Club 1938, we have been working with professionals for about a year during our weekly kitties and because of that experience, we play a lot better now. Therefore, we wanted more players to experience the quality of play and improvements in their games,” Osindero added.