Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Rachael Danjuma exhibited iron-cast character over the weekend by winning the 19th IBB Ladies Open Golf Championship in Abuja by nine shots after three days of intense golf.
The golfer, a former lady captain of Jaji Golf Club, shot a combined gross score of 256 to beat the field of 45 golfers, who played in the final round.
Danjuma, who has 8-handicap, typically romped to victory over IBB International golf course to tie up her second major tournament since she coasted to victory three months ago at the Northern Nigeria Zonal Open Golf Championship also in Abuja.
A strong field of over 90 lady golfers from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana and 27 golf clubs in Nigeria attended the well-organised tournament.
A bogey finish in the last four holes of the final round could not dislodge Danjuma from making a routine victory in the ladies Handicap 0-28 flight category.
Jessica Tei, from Ghana finished second. The young 5-handicapper from Achimota Golf Club, edged last year’s winner, Amina Wilfred of IBB Club on count-back after they both shot 267 gross.
A former national cycling champion, Rita Izoje from James Ibori Golf Club, Asaba, once again grabbed the attention- not on the track, but on the golf course by finishing in fourth position, 18 shots outside the lead.
Tei and Izoje enlivened a spectacular event by thrilling the guests that included Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong, Ugandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Kagimu Kiwanuka, Kaduna State First Lady, Hadiza El-Rufai and others with their dancing ability, when they stepped out with their entourage to receive their prizes.
V. Manteau from Ghana finished 5th, while the 6th and 7th positions went to S. Kadiri of IBB and Blessing Obaje of Otukpo respectively.
The evergreen Susan Cole-Kotas finished in eighth position with 282 gross, in addition to making waves with some auxiliary prizes, including the longest drive and nearest to the pin.
Blessing Adakole, (Otukpo), B. Hassan (Abeokuta), Justina Christopher (Lafia) S. Choi and Mirabel Edozie, both from IBB Club, took 1st -5th nett positions in Handicap 0-28 flight category.
All 45 players who made the final day cut were presented with medals. The tournament was organised by the Ladies Section of IBB Club headed by Mrs Lami Ahmed.
Lalong, who was the guest of honour, described the Ladies Open as an event which no one would have wished to miss. He also lauded the great atmosphere around the tournament plus the amazing prizes offered to the winners.