National Junior Golf Championship Tees Off In Oturkpo

Golf•R&A Train The Trainers’ Course Also Begins

The best Nigerian junior golfers from across the country have gathered at the Oturkpo Golf and Country Club, Akegede, Benue State, to fight for honours in a 54-hole gross National Junior Golf Championship.

The competition, which teed off yon Thursday, is the biggest and most competitive junior event in the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) calendar, with the children fighting for laurels in three different categories.

According to the NGF, the competition, being hosted in collaboration with the Royal & Ancient Golf, St Andrews, Scotland, is featuring 70 players, who are vying for honours in the Under-10, U-14 and U-19 categories of the event scheduled to end tomorrow.

Director, Youths Development, NGF, Emy Ekong, told The Guardian that, “the championship is open to the winners of the regional qualifiers; 10 best from each of the six geopolitical zones, plus 10 from the host state, who are the major sponsor after their qualifier.”

She also revealed that the tournament is open to U-10 girls to encourage the girl child, adding that a special category have been included for them. Ekong revealed that former Senate President, David Mark, who is the grand patron of the Oturkpo Golf and Country Club, is the chief host of the competition, while the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Alhassan Yakmut and Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, are the special guests of honour.

Among the key players involved in the championship are NGF’s number one ranked 17-year-old Godsmark Iside from the South East, Aminu Muhammad from North West, Lucky Ede from South West and Helen Alechenu representing North Central.

Coming a few days after the just concluded Boys & Girls All Africa Championship in Kenya, where Nigeria’s boys finished in the third position and the girls came 4th, the competition is expected to be an interesting experience for followers of the country’s junior game.

Ekong revealed, “this is the first time we ran regional events that led to the national finals so as to be able to capture more players and present winners from each geopolitical zone to play in the final event. “A lot of junior players all over the country indicated interest to play at this championship probably because they are on school break, but to qualify you must win at your regional level.”

She also disclosed that the championship, which is being hosted by NGF President, Dr. Peter Deshi, was heralded by a five-day R & A train the trainers’ course, which began on Wednesday and will end tomorrow.

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