Oturkpo Club dominates National Junior Golf Championship
• Chiemere is best player
Host of the National Junior Championship, Oturkpo Golf and Country Club, has shown why it is regarded as the emerging hub of the country’s game when it led the North Central Zone to win the championship.
But the tag of the best junior golfer remained with Enugu State’s Isife Chiemere, who beat Oturkpo’s Samuel Ochigbo, to win final game of the competition.
Incidentally, his gold medal was the South East zones only trophy at the championship. The National junior Golf finals held at the luxurious course in Akpegede, Benue State, was a collaboration of the Nigerian Golf Federation (NGF) and the R&A, with the Oturkpo Golf & Country Club as the major sponsor.
The national finals was meant for junior players, who qualified from their different zones as well as qualifiers from the host state, making a total of 70 juniors, but a special category was created for the girls under 10 years.
A total of 84 junior players registered for the championship, but only 78 were allowed to complete in the 54-hole competition. At the end of the championship, the host club’s junior players ensured that the North Central Zone emerged tops by winning the highest number of trophies, 12 out of the 18 trophies on offer.
They were followed by the South South Zone, which got the trophies, while the South East, South West and the North West zones won a trophy each. The most interesting game was the final match between the Oturkpo number one ranked boy, Samuel Ochigbo, who was favourite to win the boys final, and Enugu’s top star, Isife Chiemerie, who has won all the national junior golf events since last year.
Playing in the Under-19 category, Chiemerie beat Ochigbo with two strokes to emerge victorious. The event ended concurrently with the train the trainers’ course, which offered the participants R&A certificates at the end of the competition.
An elated NGF Junior Development Officer, Emy Ekong, told The Guardian that the National Junior Championship once again showed that the country has the ingredients needed to become one of the best gold playing nations in Africa.
She thanked the president of the International Golf Academy, St Mark, Akpegede, Oturkpo, Benue State, David Mark Jr, for working hard to ensure a successful championship.
According to Ekong, “David Mark Jr. has consistently shown that in him we have somebody, whose interest is in seeing the growth of this game. He can go to any length to see that things are done properly and on time too. “He worked hard to ensure the success of the national finals, hosted the training officials from the R&A, as well as the participants of the five-day intensive course.”