The 2019 Nigeria Ladies Golf Open Championship teed off on Wednesday at the IBB International Golf and Country Club in Abuja, with Ugandan Irene Nakalembe dictating the pace.
Playing with Handicap 2, Nakalembe grossed 76 on the opening 18 holes, with Nigeria’s Amina Wilfred closely following.
The Nigerian policewoman who is Handicap 8 was two strokes behind the visiting player, after playing a gross of 78 and a 70 nett.
Another Nigerian, Racheal Danjuma, occupied the third place with a nett of 74 and gross of 82 while defending champion Evah Magala of Uganda stayed fourth.
Magala also grossed 82 and has a nett of 78.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that earlier in the day, the three-day event was officially teed off by the Captain of IBB International Golf and Country Club, Sola Awoyungbo.
He was supported by the outgoing President of the Ladies Golf Association of Nigeria (LGAN), Ekanem Ekwueme.
While teeing off the championship, Awoyungbo had said he was delighted that ladies golf association picked the club as the venue for the tournament.
“The Ladies Golf Association of Nigeria are celebrating their annual event and we are excited they chose the IBB International Golf and Country Club as the venue for the event.
“This is because we have golfers from some African countries participating and Nigeria is represented by all the zones of the federation.
“We believe it will be a highly competitive event because they are all eager to play. They will not have the course to blame because the course is in good condition”.
“The competition will take ladies’ golfing to another level. Let me say (that) I am impressed with this large turnout,” he said.
In the same vein, Ekwueme said she was happy that she was ending her tenure on a good and winning note with the hosting of the competition.
“It is amazing, and a good feeling for this to happen. A lot of ladies are playing and we have good weather.
“The fact that I’m handing over to a new executive committee in a few days’ time is exhilarating. I’m happy with how events are panning out,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, in a statement signed by the competition’s Director of Media and Publicity, Kayode Adeniyi, the event’s youngest player, Iyene Essien, has been feeling elated.
He quoted Essien as saying she felt elated playing with her “mothers and grandmothers’’.
“I have been playing golf since I was five and I’m 13 right now. Golf has been good and I have been winning tournaments and making my country proud.
“Right now, I feel excited to play among my mothers and grandmothers and I pray they take it easy on me,’’ she said.
Also, the Chairperson of the championship’s Organising Committee, Julie Okah-Donli, has promised that the event’s remaining days would be lively for both the Nigerian and foreign golfers.
NAN reports that the Championship will end on Friday.