Godwin Okoko of Otukpo Golf Club in Benue State emerged from the 6th Awa Ibraheem Junior Golf Championship concluded over the weekend as the new star of Junior golf in Nigeria.
Okoko, 15, edged defending champion and clubmate John Alex in the second playoff hole after the two players were tied after 54 holes with gross score of 233 at Ikeja Golf Club in Lagos.
“I am very glad that these young golfers can face this level of competition and pull off these beautiful performances, which is the essence of this event” Says AWA Ibraheem, the sponsor of the event, at the closing ceremony.
Okoko’s effort not only made him the hottest teenage golfer, he also is expected to make a bold leap on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, since the event locked in by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland as a point awarding event.
And as with the tradition of the event, over 20 winners at the Championship were awarded scholarships to encourage them to stay back in school.
Secretary General of The Nigeria Golf Federation, Davies Oludare also speaking at the event said that the event has lived up to its rating as the best Junior Golf Championship in the country.
“This is undoubtedly the biggest pool of school kids anywhere in the country for a competitive golf event and we must commend the visionary team that has kept the standard high and also made it possible to get global recognition.
“The Federation will keep supporting and partnering ventures like this that seek to promote and grow the game, especially at the grassroots.”
The event had 95 players in different categories which included Under-9; 10-12; 13-15 and 16-17. Okoko, the overall winner played in the 13-15 class, while runner up John Alex represented 16-17 Category.
Destiny Oyero of Lagos State retained his title as number one in the Under-9 category with a gross of 79, while other winners are Deborah Dung; Oyebo Ibrahim; Iyeneobong Essien among others.
The winners will represent Nigeria’ in the 2020 Africa Junior Championship in Egypt.