The crème of Nigerian golfing professionals will compete at the third edition of 3e Actuaries Open in Mongomo, Equatorial Guinea from December 10-13. The star-studded tournament will draw a field of 60 international golfers for the prize purse of $150,000 (about N30 million).
Nigerian professional golfers, Andrew Oche Odoh and Gift Willy won the two previous editions of the tournament. Willy from Port Harcourt Golf Club checkmated the peerless Ghanaian Emos Korblah by five shots over 54 holes to win last year in Mongomo while Odoh took honours in Malabo.
The Nigerian influence is dominant this year as 11 professional golfers from the country will be vying for big chunks of the money over 72 holes. Senior Tour player Fred Eweka is on the bandwagon with Odoh, Willy and other regular pros, including Sunday Olapade, Austin Akpodiete, Kabiru Mohammed, Morgan Atako and Michael Ubi.
The tournament will be staged over the 7,000 metres long Presidential Golf Course in Mongomo. The course is set in the pristine forest to the east of the oil rich country. The field will be cut to 30 players after the first 36 holes. Half of the field is dominated by African players, with the rest of the players coming from Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Ghana and Zimbabwe have the second largest blocs of seven players each after Nigeria while Ivory Coast will present five. Korblah is to be joined by compatriots, Kojo Barnni, Klah Stephen Kwame and Gbenyor Anthony.
The 3e Actuaries Open is a golf tourism driven project supported by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and envisaged in Equatorial Guinea Horizonte 2020 vision. The Pro-Am is the brainchild of Olawale Opayinka of 3e Actuaries to realize this holistic strategy with other partners through world-class golf tournaments. President Nguema and South African president Jacob Zuma were among the dignitaries that attended last year’s tournament.