Excited Oboh ready to justify invitation to Azores Ladies Open
This year has been full of excitement for Nigeria’s golf prodigy, Georgia Oboh. With the first quarter of the year still some way to go, the 16-year-old 2015 World Teen champion has been privileged to rub shoulders with the best players in the women game, with her appearance in the qualifiers of the Ladies Professional Golfers Association of America (LPGA) Tour Pure Silk Bahamas Classic being the highlight of her season so far.
And now, the Nigerian, who in December last year finished as the third best player at the European Junior Open Championship in Costa Del Sol, Spain, has another opportunity to compete with the best in the game at the eighth edition of the Azores Ladies Open at the Terceira Island Golf Club, Portugal.
According to the organisers of the event, Oboh has been invited to the competition because of her impressive profile.A representative of the organisers, Vero Fino, said, “Georgia Oboh is the first Nigerian to be invited because she requested an invitation and after viewing her CV, she seems to be an excellent candidate to receive an invite.
“We are happy to provide this invitation and look forward to welcoming her to compete alongside many up and coming young players from around the world. She has achieved many things and is still just 16 years old. Playing in the Azores Ladies Open will give her the opportunity to travel to a beautiful part of the world and gain further experience to help her golf development.”
Oboh will join other top 76 golfers across the globe to compete at the three-day championship holding from April 21 to 23. She will have African companionship in Cote d’Ivoire’s Soro Natou.
The Azores Ladies Open started in 2011 on the Island of São Miguel at Batalha Golf Course, with 25,000 euros prize money, but the prize has been increased to 35,000 euros this year, an increase of 5,000 in relation to 2016.
Portugal has only three golf tournaments to count simultaneously for professional world rankings and Olympic rankings and the Azores Ladies Open is the only women’s tournament with this status.
It has brought to Portugal some female players that later end up shining on the main circuits in Europe and the United States and last year there were several Olympic athletes in Rio de Janeiro who had competed in previous editions of the Azorean event.
Meanwhile, Oboh has hailed the decision by the Kasumigaseki Country Club, which is billed to host the golf event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, to change its rules to make women eligible for full membership. Kasumigaseki Country Club voted recently to permanently change its membership policy at an extraordinary meeting of its executive board.
Oboh described the decision as a “great news for golfers everywhere as the real issue was whether a venue should be allowed to host an Olympic event when they do not fully embrace the Olympic spirit. This issue was not only about a gender bias or exclusivity at this particular golf club.
“Golf was added into the Olympics to promote the sport worldwide and to showcase world class athletes on a world class scale. The Olympics as an event should therefore appeal to men, women and aspiring children too. It is therefore a triumph for the Olympic spirit indeed.”