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Is Odegha Nigeria latest golf Darling?

The dynamism of the Nigeria professional golf cadre    has thrown up a new darling. According to
the latest ranking released by the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of Nigeria during the week and he is Sunday Joseph Odegha.


Odegha may not new for followers of professional  golf in Nigeria but his increasing influence on the Nigerian Tour since the latter part of last year has a second place on the ranking  and following the succession of his  form, he may be player to be sung for the rest of the season in Nigeria.

If leading the PGA Qualifying School in 2008 in Minna seems a fluke, the fair skinned golfers who won the Centenary Golf Championship in Enugu upper weekend has proven he can rattle the ranking system and may even lead the pack.

The latest ranking that the PGA of Nigeria released has Holland based Abdullahi Ali as the best ranked player; Ali who nabbed his first African win outside of Nigeria in Gabon is deservedly a leader, given his present form. But the point racking rating was not in favour of three top players that have dominated the local scene in the past three years; Oche Odoh, Christian Godfrey and Umoh Edet.

Odoh who for three consecutive years led the ranking is rated 8th best player in the country by the PGA while Godfrey, who incredibly holds two course records, is twelfth best and Edet grappled with the eleventh place on the rung.
Olajide Lamidi, the PGA’s tournament coordinated excused the top rated players saying they may pull a surprise in the next series of event in May and June.
According to him, “I don’t believe they have lost form, I think some of them have set higher goals for themselves and are really looking at achieving better rating outside of the country and this is the price you pay for such decision.

If you focus abroad you lose point at home and when local rating is your target you will lose your foreign rating;
managing the two is what I believe the boys are going to be trying to do when they return home to honour the couple of important events slated for May and June.

“I think we will see the ranking return to ‘normal’ with the key players finding their place.  And again you cannot rule out upset, Nigeria’s ranking I believe is the most dynamic around”

The big names notwithstanding, ‘SJ Odegha’ (as he is fondly called) may be the next big things the big players would have to battle  when the marathon of events sets in from May.


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