Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Issa Nlareb became a first time winner in Nigeria after edging an under-strength field to win the FCT Classic at IBB International Golf and Country, Abuja at the weekend.
The Cameroonian won by six shots and was rewarded to the tune of $4,000 after posting a five over par 221, beating Visitor Mapwanya of Zimbabwe.
Nlareb, who had featured in six tournaments in Nigeria since last year, finally secured a victory in the event listed on the West Africa Golf Tour calendar by closing with a 76 on the third day of the tournament after setting the tone with an opening round of 69.
“I am highly excited to win in Nigeria after all my efforts ended in futility since last year. I gave it everything though the field was not strong. I played three under the first day and with that score on the card, I knew I had been offered a clear route to winning the tournament.
“The future of Cameroon golf looks promising with the calibre of players coming up and gaining inspiration from a role model like Desire Ebele Mvondo,’’ said Nlareb from Yaounde Golf Club.
The tournament was shorn of real contest mainly due to the absence of Nigerian and Ghanaian professionals from the event. This development limited the field to eight players and enabled Cameroonian players to dictate the pace.
The youngest competitor at the tournament, Pristhy Nji, defied the odds by finishing in third position at 14 over par 230. The 14-year-old Cameroonian got a handsome cash prize of $2,000 after edging compatriot Bolu Michel by nine shots.
Nigerian D. Obadofin in fifth place ahead of the two amateur players, Michael Edet and Wisdom Ilori from Ado Ekiti Golf Club.
The tournament profile was lifted by the large turnout of amateur golfers from Lakowe Lakes, Ikoyi, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
Oluremi Olukoya won the best gross prize after a 36-hole contest. The 4-handicapper shot 151 gross, while Mohammed Suleiman won the handicap 6-18 flight category prize with the nett score of 144, beating Davoe Tiri by two shots.
Susan Cole- Kotas emerged the winner in ladies category with the nett score of 154, beating H.K Han by a stroke.