By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Oche Odoh has insisted he is not under any pressure to defend the 3e Actuaries Equatorial Guinea Open Championship in Mongomo starting from December 8 through December11.
The Nigerian No.1 ranked professional will aim for an unprecedented third Green Jacket at the coveted tournament that will feature 48 players from 24 countries.
Odoh won the maiden edition in 2013 and produced an electrifying performance in the final round last year, carding an -8 under 208 to win by four- shot.
He coasted to victory with staggering under par scores over three rounds, leaving Cameroon’s Ebela Mvondo Desire, Lewis Parker of United Kingdom and Emos Korblah of Ghana in his trail.
With the winner set to gross $24,000 out of the total prize money of $100,000, there appears to be enough motivation for the players to be inebriated when the tournament finally tees off.
“I am not under pressure to retain my title in Mongomo. I am working extra hard on my game to be in peak shape and will be ready to contend against other players who in their right are great players,” Odoh declared last night from South Africa, where he has been playing on the Sunshine Tour in the past eight weeks.
He also added that in spite of the international outlook of the tournament, he will arriving the oil-producing central-African country with the hope to beat the field and win the tournament that is growing in leaps and bounds as Africa’s major tournament.
“I think there is lot of positives on my side in trying to improve my game in South Africa. I come to every tournament with the mindset to play well and probably win. I won’t go there if I feel I am not ready. I am obviously coming to Mongomo to compete. I want to go out there and produce my best shots and have fun,’’ Odoh declared.
He said that his aspiration will be boasted by the knowledge he garnered last year playing on the long and challenging Presidential golf course, adding he is excited to play the Equatorial Guinea Open where he is a two- time winner.
Despite the manner he tamed Mongomo course the last time that conveyed the illusion that the course is soft, Odoh refused to admit that there are easy holes on the alluring course characterised by huge greens and water hazards.
“The truth is there is no hole on that course that is easy. You need 100 per cent concentration. I don’t like to think that a hole is easy or tough. Rather I like to be focused on a hole at a time and be committed to every shot.”