Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
After emerging the winner of the 16th Heineken Aba Amateur Golf Open Championship, Sunday Aja has set his eyes on becoming a professional golfer, saying that he would not be contented with playing golf at amateur level.
The new champion, who brought to an end the dominance of Onumajuru Emmanuel in the previous tournaments, said that his ultimate goal was to turn professional golfer and possibly compete at international tournaments alongside his idol, Rory Mcllroy, currently ranked the world number 10 golfer.
Aja’s experience in participating in a number of amateur golf tournaments in Nigeria and South Africa where he represented Nigeria in the MTN Golf tournament in 2014, appear to have boosted his chances of triumphing over other amateur golfers from Uyo, Calabar, Enugu, Port Harcourt.
“This is the first tournament I have won,” he told THISDAY after he was crowned champion, adding that he has been playing golf for five years now and was eager to become a professional golfer.
For his victory the new champion was rewarded with a cash prize of N50,000 while a visibly impressed President, Aba Sports Club 1926, Geoffrey Uzoagbara added a personal cash gift of N25,000 to the winner.
There were lots of rewards for the best five in each of the seven categories with the winners carting away household electronics gadgets such as plasma TV sets, deep freezers, home theatre music sets and even bags of rice.
Nigerian Breweries Plc was impressed with the performance of the amateur golfers and has affirmed its desire to continue the partnership with Aba Sports Club.
Managing director/chief executive officer of the brewery giant, Mr. Johan Doyer said that sponsorship of the golf tournament “provided us the needed opportunity to create an enabling environment for sport advancement and a conducive atmosphere for relaxation, connecting with friends and stakeholders.”
The CEO, whose address was read by the Brewery manager, BabatundeJinadu, explained that the annual Heineken Amateur Open Golf Tournament in Enyimba City was “in line with our philosophy of wining with Nigeria.”
According to him, this wining philosophy has over the years propelled the NB Plc to be “active in supporting our shared aspirations for growth and national development through our continuous identification and intervention in the areas of sports, health, youth empowerment, and education, among others.”
The Aba Sports Club President, Uzoagbara said that NB Plc has demonstrated continued faith in us by sponsoring the golf tournament year after year, adding that the company has equally shown interest in the swimming section by assisting to fix the Club’s Olympic size swimming pool and make it functional.
As the curtain drew closed on the 16th Heineken Aba Amateur Golf Open Championship the Captain of the Golf Section of Aba Sports club, Sir Joel Uweri said that the golfers that played in 18 holes green golf course have every reason to be happy for participating in the tournament.
This, according to him, was because both winners and losers all took home the valued lessons of discipline, integrity and honesty that are usually learnt on a golf course.