Except for the brilliant level par carding by returning Tour card seeker, Paul Patrick of Shagamu Golf Club, inOgun State, the 2011 of Qualifying School session in Asaba is a tough nut for the filed of 64 players vying for the twelve spots available.
Patrick, who has had an unforgiving 78, on the first round of the four-day schedule calmly strode the bunker littered Ibori Golf and Country Club on the second day fr the level par (72), that has now become the talking point and has set him as the hottest favorite to pick the one of the spots.
Tournament Director of the PGA, Dominic Andrew said that he understands why Patrick’s score is rated high, “Asaba (course) recent setting has easily made it one of the most challenging course in the country, even when the Tour players are here a level par score places you comfortably in the top ten, and coming from him shows he can do better:” The “Qualifying School” is the PGA of Nigeria entry tournament for top amateur into the professional rank and it is organized biennially.
This years edition taking place in Asaba has 64 players from across the country in attendance who have relinquished their amateur status and are hoping to pick one of the twelve spots that the PGA has pegged will be admitted this year. Another player that has shown some measure of promise is Ajiboye Taju from Ilorin Golf Club.
Taju led the first round with 76, four over par, but his trainer Friday Adache believes he is a good material that can add quality, character and skill to the Tour field if he scales the four day test.
He said, “In Ilorin, we have great respect for him and there is no denying that he would bring a lot of quality, character and skill to our profession” Meanwhile as the returns for most the players become highly uncertain on the field of play, they are now banking on the score that the garner from other aspects other than playing ability. The players are also tested in practical sessions that include knowledge of the rules, presentation and club repairs, the association explains that an all rounded member will be more relevant for the development of the game in the country now.
Dayo Oderinde, one of the Tour card seeker in Asaba has, however been expelled from the trials in Asaba after he was penalized for misconduct at one of the sessions, the assessors, said, “there was no point leaving him to go ahead, he lacked character and the test was over for him as soon as we saw that in him” The “Qualifying School” would be rounded up with the successful players paired in a Pro-Am billed with host club members.
WGCG: South Africa Golfers for Nigeria’s Final
Nigerian amateur golfers exploit at the World Corporate Golf Challenge is yielding some business interest for the country, as franchise holders for the event announced that there has been call form South Africa top businessmen to be part of Nigeria’s March 25th national finals in Ibom.
According to Obinna Duru, “This I think is where golf has now brought its influence on bear on the Nigerian economy and we are proud to be gateway to this development” He added that there has been continual enquiry about the schedule of the WCGC in Nigeria and many business organization in South Africa are now seeking to partner since the date was unveiled to use the event to meet some key golf businessmen in the country.
“The list of the business group wanting to meet Nigerian businessmen at the national final is growing and they have been asking us to enter them for our national final. We are working out details now with a lot of South African groups in Nigeria and the embassy here.
The event would be taking a new dimension this year and we are getting signals that more countries may follow suit in coming editions” The organizers are now working at having a business to business exhibition and meeting along with the national finals of the World Corporate Golf Challenge. He said enquiries has been from real estate professionals to oil and gas and “the list keep growing” Nigeria’s Treko Oil and Gas placed 5th at the World finals of the Championship last year and was represented by Tim Ayomike, Olaitam Muyideen, Remi Olukoya and Chris Obije and the organizers say that the representatives not only show golfing prowess but also have high tendencies for forming business ties with corporate representatives from close to thirty other nations including Europe, America, Asia apart from South Africa (the only African country outside of Nigeria at the event) “We believe that golf hold more than recreational benefits, it has a great business value too and it is an edge that business community in Nigeria has not tapped. We are working to get the best of it for all competitors”.
The 2011 national finals is scheduled for Le Meridien Golf Hotel and Resort in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom from March 25 to 28