By Olawale Ajimotokan
The unassailable domination of the Nigerian tour by Ghanaian professionals was reinforced after the half-year Order of Merit ranking was tabulated.
Emos Korblah and Vincent Torgah climbed to the top of the money list after finishing first and second at the Memorial tournament in Otukpo.
The remaining top 10 positions saw Oche Odoh in third ahead of a pack of Nigerian players.
Korblah has been on a roller coaster since the start of the year. His Memorial win at the Otukpo Golf and Country Club, was his fourth win on the tour, with six months remaining to play on the schedule.
Despite his impressive log this year, the Accra-born player only depended on local knowledge, having glossed all his wins on a course he is the resident professional. His total half year earning in eight official tournaments was N5.6 million.
His compatriot, Torgah got in the mix with victories at the Governor’s Cup in Asaba, in addition to the maiden FCT Open, Abuja, where he dusted an international field to cash the N2million fee, the biggest prize money in Nigeria this year.
Instructively, the two Ghanaians claimed in between themselves, six of the eight tournaments and were rewarded with just over N10 million, representing 25 percent of the N40million tournament fees received by the tour during the corresponding period.
While Odoh who could not match his pre Memorial hype, won the ULO Consultants, Lasisi responded by winning the CMCL Open also in Abuja.
The rest of the top 10 positions were filled by Gift Willy, M. Abubakar, Martin Odoh, Lasisi, Gboyega Oyebanji, Emdet Imo and Mike Ubi.
Though Abubakar is rookie who joined the tour this year, his mid year current standing is a big lift and a definite sign he can up the tenor and rub shoulders with established players.
The 2012 half year ranking by the Professional Golf Association of Nigeria (PGAN) indicated that Nigerian pro golf has not had it better in a long time in term of revenue generation.
At the corresponding stage in the last two years, there were concerns arising from a paucity of tournaments, which saw CMCL and Memorial as the only two tournaments used to determine the mid year ranking.
The lack of real competition also created a situation where the country’s representatives to the World Cup of Golf qualifiers in Malaysia only earned the rights solely on their performance in two tournaments considered.
Nigerian Half-year Top 10
1. Emos Korblah (Ghana)
2. Vincent Torgah (Ghana)
3. Oche Odoh
4. Gift Willy
5. M. Abubakar
6. Martin Odoh
7. Lateef Lasisi
8. Gboyega Oyebanji
9. Edet Imo
10. Mike Ubi