December 18, 2009

Year 2009 couldn’t have been better for Godfrey

For winning the President Cup with record scores, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola President of the Nigeria Golf Federation, NGF commended  Christian Godfrey of IBB International Golf and Country Club.
“A brilliant performance like this should not go uncommended, and this goes to show the great potential that the country has to churn out good players if we set our parameters right” he said.

The Edo-born professional golfers twice returned 67, four under gross which stood as record score at the prestigious Le Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo Akwa Ibom on the way to retaining the President Cup title.

According to Godfrey (who also broke the course record at the IBB International Golf and Country Club in Abuja earlier in the year shooting 62, ten under par) he has always worked on beating any record on the course “for me each time I play I want to leave a mark and one of the ways I do that is trying to find out the best score that has been played before and seeing if I can better it,” he said

Some 12 years ago, an Argentine named Ricardo Gonzalez walked over everyone at the lush IBB Golf course and indeed won that year’s Nigerian Open. Gonzalez did not stop at that but he even had the audacity to set a new course record in Abuja when he carded a massive 8-under in one day’s game.

Golfers at that point were wondering if Gonzalez didn’t use ‘juju’ to post such nicredible score. Truth is that you don’t just post 8-under  in one day, no matter the color of your skin.

Now brace up yourself and still think of the color of the skin. This time, think of cooler ‘black’. It could be this is a script from the dreamland. A sweet dream you wouldn’t want to be woken up from no matter what could be at stake. This one is real.

A black man, indeed an Abuja based golf professional, Christian Godfrey, at the CMCL tourney in Abuja filled a new chapter in the history of golf at the IBB course which is the best in the country. During the third day of that event, Godfrey miraculously posted a 10-under score to push aside a 12- year record of Gonzalez. It was one feat no one would believe in a hurry.

Even the guy who shattered the old 12-year record to set a new one was dumbfounded and couldn’t believe he just made history.

Hear the record-breaker: “I will tell you I never planned for this. I returned a mere 1-under the previous day. I merely came with the big heart to better that score, at least to please my wife who felt I had not won a tourney in a while. To my amazement, I did especially well when I recorded an unbelievable ‘5-under’ during the ‘front-nine’ game. The front nine is the difficult area of the IBB course and I scored such incredibel game there.

That was when my mind was made up. It was like if I could get five birdies in a difficult area, while wouldn’t I get more than five in the ‘back nine’ which is soft. I did it eventually and that is the new ‘record’ we are talking about. It is not a mean feat.

I drew blood to do this. As a superior golfer, I know that this new record will surpass Gonzalez’s record of 12 years. Really, I am looking at 20 years before anyone could touch the record I just set. And it could be my son who would do that.”

So much guts. Truth is Godfrey has got a lionheart and indeed several guts to spare. For doing what he did, he pocketed a stunning N1.2 million for being the CMCL champ. And for setting ablaze the IBB course with a new 10-under record, the Captain of the club and in fact the owner of the classic Savannah Suites Hotel in Abuja, Sir Chika Chiejine, on behalf of the club made a donation of N200,000 to Godfrey.