Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The maiden edition of Ladies Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria (LPGAN) will tee off tomorrow in Abuja with a guest list of 200 golfers, competing in the professional, category 1 and 2 and invited guests categories.
The professionals and category 1 and 2 amateur players will compete over 72 holes, while the guests will feature in 36 holes billed for Saturday and Sunday.
The Secretary of the Board of Trustees of LPGAN, Uloma Mbuko said 15 female professional golfers have registered for the competition.
Some of the pros that have registered include Vivian Kouame, Chantal Behibro, Cote D’Ivoire; Miriam Ndiaye, Senegal; Dambaki Micah, Ogieva Manteau, Obomanu Assisi Judith, Wesley Folasade Sharon and Juliet Ayodele from Nigeria.
Nigeria’s promising starlets, Georgia Oboh and Diana Osmond, will feature as invited amateur players.
Mboku said Flavia Namakula from Uganda and players from South Africa, would not be attending because the LPGAN event is clashing with some major tournaments that hold in their countries.
“We projected for over 50 professionals but South African players will not be joining us as they are having their South African Ladies Open; they will join us in our subsequent events. As our inaugural event with a limited field, we are not too particular about prize money, ” Mboku said.
She said the highlight of the event is the presentation of Green Jackets by the President of African Golf Tour, to new batch of female professional golfers, in addition to tour cards.
They will subsequently enroll in May for two years intensive training on golf education after which they will be certified to pick the areas of choice of professional specialization.
The Chairman of LPGAN Board of Trustees, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, said the association is a platform for ladies to seek equal opportunity like men in golf matters in Nigeria and West Africa.
Nwodo said the coming of LPGAN will now end the practice where Nigerian and West African ladies aspiring to turn professional have to go to South Africa to fulfill their dream.
“By forming this association in Nigeria, we have opened our door for all lady golfers in West Africa to benefit.
In Nigeria, we have the men professional golfers association for years now and no female professional body. Indeed it is so sad that in Nigerian golf courses, there is no tee off point for professional lady golfers because there is no association to take care of their interests. This is a veritable platform to harness the talent of our ladies” Nwodo clarified.