Championship Best Gross winner, Sam Galadima ponders a tee a shot at the sixth LM Open Golf Tournament in Uyo
By Olawale Ajimotokan
Usenobong Akpabio claimed double honours and stood apart from the rest of the field at the sixth LM Open Tournament that had a record field of 129 players at Le Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo.
Local knowledge clearly aided 12-handicapper Akpabio, who won the Men Category A best gross prize with two- shot and emerged as the overall net winner with 144 over 36- hole. His 66 net on the second day of the event was the tournament's lowest as the players battled with the lenght of Ibom.
He improved on his opening gross of 90 by returning a final round 78 to steer clear of Paul Erokoro, who posted a pair of 85s at the weekend.
Shola Awoyungbo of IBB Golf Club, Abuja, built on his day one momentum of 78, to coast to victory with an improved final round 77 in the Men Category B. His total score was 155, four shots ahead of Atai Albert Akpan.
Ujunwa Chukwu shot 159, but finished third on countback.
Another Abuja based player, Sam Galadima, won the Men Championship best gross by three- shot after carding 161 to leave Kalio Isoboye on his trail.
Hassan Adeyemo, won the category best net prize, by edging Brian Sutherland, who won the nearest to the pin prize, by 11 strokes.
Paul Abiyou, maiden winner of the LM Open Tournament in 2011, posted 160 to annex the veterans prize with Eddie Petters and Celestine Etouwem in second and third respectively.
Susan Cole-Kotas won the ladies gross title while Igho Ugbegu wound up at 152 to secure the net title at the expense of Gina Logan and Desire Fekorrigha.
Tournament consultant, Sam Logan of
International Management Group (IMG), expressed excitement at the the record high turn out for the LM Open which was organised to fall in the week of the 77th US Masters.
The entry sheet of 129 golfers nationwide surpassed the previous record of 118 and featured playing guests from the Gambia, Britain, Ghana, Korea, Germany, France, Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire.
The LM Open started two years ago with a field of 68 players and has grown to become one of Nigeria's most sought and best attended tournaments.
''More people are signing up for the tournament because we are doing golf tournaments in a different way. The tournament keeps growing and it is no doubt one of the best organised tournaments in Nigeria and the people have gone to appreciate that'' Logan said.