The Governor of Kwara State, Gov. Abdufatah Ahmed has assured golf aficionados of the return of Kwara Open later in the year.
He gave the assurance during the closing ceremony of the Kwara @ 50 Golf Tournament last weekend at Ilorin Golf Club.
Captain of the Club, Ola Maliki, said the tournament was an unprecedented one in the history of the Club.
“We are amazed at the turn out of golfers from across the country. We had virtually all hotels in the city fully occupied because we had close to 400 players come in to compete at the tournament.
“We also created avenue for local entrepreneurs to showcase their wares at stands we created at the golf club. It was practically a spike in the local economy,” revealed Maliki.
Minna Cantonment Golf Club-based Sunday Odegha who won the professional’s round picked $2,700 out of the $25, 000 staked for their category.
The event was also the first Professional Golfers’ Association of Nigeria (PGAN) event denominated in foreign currency after the 2009 Nigeria Open.
MicCom Golf Club’s Sunday Olapade was runner up while Air Assault Golf Club Mike Ubi placed third at the event.
Luqman Owolewa, the CEO of Sluqfort, the consulting firm that managed the Kwara @ 50 Tournament said that the event enjoyed such patronage from corporate and private partners because of the pedigree of the people behind it.
“Our Governor is passionate about making the state re-positioned as the hub of golf. This is what it has been missing in the past but with the recent investments in the club and the busting talents that the state has, he is very committed to give the necessary support to use golf to stimulate tourism and drive the local economy,” he added.
President-elect of the Nigeria Golf Federation, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, was part of the over 200 amateur players that grace the 36 holes contest that rounded off the event last Sunday.
Homeboy, Ibrahim Usman, won the Category One rank beating Sagamu scratch player, Uche Eze to second place.
The Kwara @50 Golf Tournament was sponsored by BUA Group, Sterling Bank, Yola’s Consultants ltd, Duravil Construction Ltd, Chelfom Engineering & Construction Ltd, Lanre Shittu Motors, ICMA Professional Services, Pyramid Ltd, Kwara Internal Revenue Service and Chief Kunle Oyinloye of Infrastructure Bank.
The event which lasted for six days witnessed a record entry in both the professional and amateurs categories.