Golf: Abuja agog as 13th IBB junior open gets underway

Godwin Okoko, overall gross winner (men) of the 13th IBB junior golf open

The Lady Captain of the IBB Golf and Country Club, Maryrose Richard-Obioha, has described the hosting of the ongoing IBB Junior Open as a dream come true for the club’s ladies section as it has discovered new talents for the country.

Speaking to newsmen, Richard-Obioha said, “It’s been challenging in the last one year, especially in terms of sponsorship. We had to rally round to convince individuals and organisations to believe in this dream of raising a productive society through children golfing.

“The uniqueness of this year’s edition is the strong field of players who are on the cusp of gathering world amateur ranking points.

“I will also be looking out with keen interest for those from our club participating in the championship as well.”

The four-day championship which teed off on Wednesday at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja and will climax on Saturday with departure of participants.

According to the Lady Captain, no fewer than 130 players are competing for honours at the championship.

She noted that the tournament, organised by the lady section of the club was renowned for being one of the pragmatic approaches to golf talents discovery in the country.

“The field made up of the best golfers in the country who are under 18 years, offers another opportunity for display of skills over 54 holes on the par 72 course.

“The players are competing in two junior categories of under nine years and nine to 12 years, the intermediate (12 to 15 years) and the main juniors comprising of children from 15 to 18 years of age.

“Notable players in this year’s championship are John Alex who leads others from the Otukpo International Golf Academy in Benue State.

“Others include Iyene Essien as well as representation from golf courses across the country,” she said.

Earlier while performing the tee off ceremony, former member of the House of Representatives Hon. Gbenha Elegbeleye stressed the need to “catch them young” if the country wants to do well in Golf.