Professionals take centre stage as Fifth Kwara Open Tees off tomorrow
Professional golfers from across the country would converge at the Ilorin Golf Club from today for the official practice round ahead of the Fifth Kwara Open that tees-off tomorrow.
The Director of the Professional Golfers’ Association of Nigeria (PGAN), Samson Lawal has assured of the full assembly of top ranked Nigerian professionals to be available for the 72-hole championship.
“We are glad Kwara Open is making its return to our calendar. We thank Governor (Abdufattah) Ahmed for keeping to his words, during the closing ceremony of Kwara at 50 Open Golf tournament, and recently, when we paid him a courtesy call; to revive the event. I believe the peace that exists in the state and the hospitality of the good people of Kwara State would be factors that will pull our members down for this event,” he said.
The tournament is be a ranking event, where professionals will be looking to pick up points for positions on the PGA of Nigeria’s Order of Merit. The event is sponsored by the BUA Group, Sterling Bank Plc, Medview Airlines, Airtel and the Kwara State government.
Top among players expected at the event include Sunday Odegha, the nation’s number one ranked golfer, Oche Odoh, Nigeria’s only player with World ranking points. Others are Daniel Pam, former number one player and winner of the maiden IMEGA regional qualifier, Sunday Olapade, homeboys, Mustapha Aminu and Kabiru Mohammed.
Top category one players are also billed to feature along with professional players, while category two players, veteran players, ladies and guest players will wrap up the event at the weekend after 36 holes round of play in their respective categories.
The CEO of the company saddled with marketing and organising the event, Luqman Owolewa disclosed that the event has already generated interests across the West African region, as some notable golfers from neighbouring countries have sent in entries to be part of the tournament.
“We have entries for the event from some countries including Ghana and Togo among others and we would be glad to host them and further establish Kwara State as the golf hub in the region.” he said.
Captain of the Club, Mr. Lai Maliki said the course is in good shape and the club facility is ready to host golfers for the week.
“The course is in fantastic shape and I am sure the players will enjoy every bit of play in the condition it is presently”. He said.
Amateur entries have come in from MicCom Golf and Country Club, Ada, Ibadan Golf Club, Minna Cantonment Golf Club, Ekiti Golf Club, Ikeja Golf Club, Ikoyi Golf Club, Abeokuta Golf Club, Benin Golf Club, Kano Golf Club and Kaduna Golf Club, among others