By Olawale Ajimotokan
Four Nigerian professional golfers will assess their skill level against the international field at the second edition of Middle East and North African Golf Tour (MENA).
The Nigerian quartet is made up of Kingsley Oparaku Emeka Obi, Francis Isuku and Sam Agbeyegbe.
They are among the 332 players representing 42 countries who signed for the tour and already in Dubai for today’s tee- off. Aside Nigeria, players from Senegal and Uganda will be joining the roster to make the tournament truly an international spectacle.
Incidentally, Oparaku, the only Nigerian to feature in this year’s Open Golf Championship qualifying tournament in June, floundered at the last MENA Tour in 2011 without progressing into the final stage.
The Nigerian players will hope for whirlwind presence in the Gulf and attempt to benchmark the performance of Gift Willy, who finished in a tied for 12th position last year as the only Nigerian to reach the final stage of MENA Tour.
MENA Tour is a cluster of tournaments played in six stages across six courses mainly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. It has a total prize purse of $325,000 (about N52million) to be split in all the stages.
The events are Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club Open, Abu Dhabi GOLF CITIZEN Open, American Express Dirab Saudi Championship, Ras Al Khaimah Classic, Shaikh Maktoum Dubai Open and the MENA Tour Championship.
Each tournament, starting with the first event starting Sunday, attracts prize money of $50,000 (about N8million). The fee will finally graduate to $75, 000 (about N12million) at the last tournament, the Tour Championship at Al Ain Equestrian Shooting and Golf Club from October 28-31.