Sponsors explain why tourney will continue to accommodate amateurs
Aboy in cloud nine after winning maiden pro title
Despite calls for the Elizabeth Wuraola Ojo Golf Tournament (EWOMGT) to be restricted to professionals only, the sponsors say the tourney will still accommodate amateurs to ensure that all good players feature in it.
Reacting to calls from some professionals for the championship to be made a major event in the pro circuit, instead of invitational as it currently is, Managing Director of Toyota (Nigeria) Limited, Adekunle Adeojo said the competition, which marked its 15th edition last weekend at Smokin Hills Golf Resort Ilara Monkin, Ondo State, will continue to be open to everybody.
He said, “We have both the Professionals and Amateurs playing in this tournament. The professionals always tee off the tournament in the first day of the two-day competition and followed by the Amateurs in both male and female.
“We can’t make the tournament an all professionals because as I have said before, this tournament is sponsored in memory of our mother. We want to ensure that everybody that has the ability to play participates.
“For professionals, I don’t think we have that professionals here in Nigeria like we have in Europe and America. This is something that is sponsored by Toyota (Nigeria) Limited and we want to carry everybody along. The professionals have their time to play and the amateurs have theirs too. So we cut across everybody, we can’t just isolate anyone and come to think of it, the person we are celebrating is a woman.
“Also, we have to ensure that the women are also well represented. So by virtue of that as at now, we must touch everybody and ensure that all the differential aspect, the professionals, women and men are satisfied as far as the game is concerned.”
He revealed, “we are trying to improve and increase the participation of golfers in both male and female categories. And we also did the same in the professionals.”
On their earlier plans to bring in top foreign golfers like Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and others to play at the Smokin Hills Golf course, he said plans were still on for the future.
“The plans to bring down the international golfers like Tiger Woods are still on as we are not yet there. Certain things need to be put in place for you to be able to invite these top quality people to come and play here.
“The chairman is looking at the possibly of putting a five-star hotel, that is one thing that is missing out in this place. So if we have a five-star hotel here for the contestants participating in this championship, that makes it a lot easier to bring in these class of players to Participate in this tourney. The challenge is mainly funds because running a golf tournament is very capital intensive”, he said.
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