Kwara Open will return this year, Ahmed assures players

Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has promised that the Kwara Open will return later in the year.Speaking during the closing ceremony of the Kwara at 50 Golf tournament at the Ilorin Golf Club last weekend, Ahmed said the programme for the return of the championship had been concluded, adding soon players in the Nigerian circuit will have a tournament to look forward to.

The Kwara at fifty golf tournament was sponsored by BUA Group, Sterling Bank, Yola’s Consultants Ltd, Duravil Construction Ltd,  Chelfom Engineering & Construction Ltd, Lanre Shittu Motors, ICMA Professional Services, Pyramid Ltd, Kwara Internal Revenue Service and Chief Kunle Oyinloye of Infrastructure Bank.

The event, which lasted for six days, witnessed a record entry in both the professional and amateur classes.Also speaking at the ceremony, Captain of the Club, Ola Maliki said the weekend was unprecedented in the history of the Club.

“We are amazed at the turn out of golfers from across the country… we had virtually all hotels in the city fully occupied because we had close to 400 players come in to compete.

“We also created avenue for local entrepreneurs to showcase their wares at stands we created at the golf club. It was practically a spike in the local economy,” he said.

Minna Cantonment Golf Club-based Sunday Odegha won the professional’s round $2,700 out of the $25, 000 staked for their category.The event was also the first Professional Golfers’ Association of Nigeria event denominated in foreign currency after the 2009 Nigeria Open.

MicCom Golf Club’s Sunday Olapade was runner up, while Air Assault Golf Club Mike Ubi placed third at the event.According to the CEO of Sluqfort, the consulting firm that managed the Kwara at fifty tournament, Luqman Owolewa, the event enjoyed such patronage from corporate and private partners because of the pedigree of the people behind it.

“Our governor is passionate about re-positioning the state as the hub of golf. This is what it has been in the past but with the recent investments in club and the bursting talents that the state has, he is very committed to support the quest to use golf to stimulate tourism and drive local economy,” he added.

President-elect of the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF), Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola was part of the over 200 amateur players that graced the 36-hole contest that rounded off the event on Sunday July 15.Homeboy, Ibrahim Usman won the category one rank, beating Shagamu scratch player, Uche Eze to the second position.

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