Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
There is an international flavour to the 21st IBB Ladies Open Championship, with eight Ugandan and one Swedish players, leading the foreign players who have arrived Abuja.
Among those already on ground are the President of Ugandan Ladies Golf Union (ULGU) Evah Magala, and the Lady Captain of the team, Anne Abeja.
The Ugandans are coming for the third year running and have vowed to give good accounts of themselves by fiercely defending the Lady Gross title won by Magala last year.
“I am ready for the tournament and I am here to retain my title,” boasted Magala.
The ceremonial tee-off is to be conducted by Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, at 6pm today at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja.
The ladies in the Handicap 0- 28 flight and veteran players within Handicap 0-36 flight category will hit the fairways on Friday.
The tournament will end on Saturday.
The Chairperson of the tournament organising committee, Maryrose Richard-Obioha, announced at a media briefing yesterday that Botswana will present two players, while the sole Zambian player is due to arrive today.
A total number160 ladies will compete over three days and will constitute the bulk of the field of 260 golfers that will grace the tournament.
Obiorah also stressed the tournament is listed on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) calendar. She added the organising committee will collate the scores, which will be sent to WARG, analyzed and used to rank the ladies.
“We have never had anybody ranked from here. But I hope at the end of this tournament, some of the ladies will be ranked. And for the first time, Nigeria will be on the ranking as well,“ Obiorah said.
Rachel Danjuma (IBB), Rita Izojie (Asaba) Evelyn Oyome (Benin) and Amina Wilfred (IBB) are some of the Nigerian competitors of note.
In addition to the gross prizes for ladies and net prizes for veterans and gentlemen, there will be sponsors and auxiliary prizes.
Lady Captain IBB Club, Dr Julie Acholonu assured that the ladies section will organise a tournament that will befit the status of the club and meet the expectations of the sponsors.