Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Grace Ihonvbere at the weekend emerged the overall winner of the 17th IBB Golf Club Ladies Closed Championship in Abuja. The 15-handicapper exhibited relentless character on her to victory on a sun-drenched golf course, winning with a five-shot margin.
It was a special win as she will have the honour of being the club lady champion till October next year. A combined field of 160 players, 110 gentlemen and 50 ladies, competed in the 18-hole event.
Ihonvbere saved shots that turned the game on the head on the back-nine, taking advantage of the high scores across the board. She eased her way into the tournament with a net score of 78 after a quadruple bogie eight start on par 4, Hole number one, nearly lowered her confidence.
“Overall, I am glad I won the tournament after a shaky start. Besides the weather was hot and I felt that I was going to pass out. Hard-work is rewarded in golf and eventually my effort on the practice range paid off in the long run. I just ploughed on, played some bad holes and goods holes. Now I am the champion,” Ihonvbere chuckled.
Nanwon Nanven shot 83 nett to win the ladies Handicap 0-18 prize ahead Adekunbi Usman (85), Anne Abimiku (91), Mirabel Edozie (92) and Nanfe Audu, who wound up in fifth place with 95 nett.
C. Osarunwenwense won the men category 1 (HDC 0-12) prize with a nett score of 72, while Michael Adeleke finished three strokes outside the lead for second position.
The Lady Captain, Lami Ahmed, expressed delight at the number of players that turned out at the event. She added that the closed competition, aside from helping the ladies to evaluate their skills and ability has similarly brought them together to play with the gentlemen as a team, fostering the spirit of love friendship and understanding.
The ceremonial tee shot was performed by former Minister of State for Science and Technology Mrs Pauline Tallen.
Tallen said she was excited to finally step on a golf course for the first since 1994 when friends had been selling the idea of golf to her.
The political figure said was excited and impressed to find time and relax among fellow ladies, adding that the women style is different, simple and unique.