LET Star, Iturrios, 12 Nigerians Get Equatorial Guinea Open Spots


By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

Ladies European Tour (LET) winners, Nuria Iturrios of Spain and Linda Wessberg of Sweden are some of the star attractions for the 3e Actuaries Equatorial Guinea Open Championship in Mongomo, Equatorial Guinea.

The tournament with the cumulative purse of $250,000 will be hosted by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo from December 14-17.

Twelve Nigerian men and ladies are also on the list of the 110 players confirmed international players exclusively made available to THISDAY last night.

Iturrios won the Lalla Meryem Cup in Rabat, Morocco last year, while Wessberg, a captain’s pick for the European Solheim Cup team in 2007, had two LET wins at the 2006 Wales Ladies Championship and Vediorbis Open de France Dames in 2007.

They are among the 41 lady pros that will compete for the $100,000 prize money in the category.

The first African American on the Ladies PGA Tour, Shasta Averyhardt of USA, Chloe Leurquin of Belgium, Maria Jose Uribe, Colombia and Christine Wolf, Austria, who all featured at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, plus Nigerian starlet, Georgia Oboh and Ugandan star Falvia Namakula are also part of the contingent.

The list, according to Olawale Opayinka, the CEO of 3e Actuaries, was expanded to accord opportunity to up-coming golfers from developing continents.

The other Nigerians already in the mix are Haruna K. Mohammed, two-time champion Oche Andrew Odoh, Sunday Olapade, Gift Willy, Daniel Pam, Sunday J. Odegha, Uloma Mbuko, Elisha Markus, Lucie Opayinka, Otolola Adesiyan and Niyi Jolaoso.

The tournament, in its fifth year is considered one of Africa’s biggest professional golf events.. Such is its attraction that it draws players from all parts of the world. Charlie Wi of South Korea, who plays on the PGA Tour, will also make his second appearance this year.

Sixty male professional golfers will vie for $150,000 prize money over 72 holes. United Kingdom, Nigeria, South Africa and Sweden are the countries with the largest contingent of golfers from the 33 participating nations.

Other are Brazil, Austria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Spain, South Korea, USA, Mexico, Germany, Senegal, Colombia and Cameroon.