Ibadan Golf Club (IGC) is now bubbling as over 250 golfers across Nigeria begin the race for honours at the fifth Seyi Makinde Women Support Pro-Am Golf Championship.
The week-long tournament which has since teed off with no fewer than 72 professional golfers on parade has N5 million as star prize for the pro category.
According to the initiator of the championship, Mrs Ronke Adepetu, the tournament was designed to create more awareness of golf and encourage more women into the game.
Adepetu said the governor promised to make it an annual event adding that it has been getting better every year.
“Last year, our governor said the tournament will be an annual event. We are ready to sustain it over the years and here we are today for the fifth edition. We want to enegage our women in sporting activities especially in the game of golf,” Adepetu said as she commended the sponsor of the competition.
Captain, Ibadan Golf Club (IGC), COl. Ade Sunmonu (Retd) said the annual championship sponsored by Makinde, now governor of Oyo State, started in 2015 at the IGC.
Sunmonu said that over 72 professional golfers from across Nigeria would slug it out for prize money of five million naira, while the amateurs will go home with different gift prizes.
He lauded Makinde for his immeasurable support for sports development, urging government and other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate such gesture.
“Makinde has been very supportive to IGC and Tiger Golf Club before he became governor of the state. He has been sponsoring this tournament since 2015.
“There is no time he travelled out of the country without bringing back certain equipments for the club. He does this without request from the club. We want other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate this,” he said.
Sunmonu said that efforts were in top gear to partner the state ministry of culture and tourism as well as schools towards the development of golf.
Mr Bernard Nduka, IGC Administration Officer, said that no fewer than 150 amateur golfers are expected to participate in the amateur category (Handicap 1-5) of the championship.
He listed some of the professional golfers expected at the tournament as Mr Seyi Alaba, the IGC Competition Secretary, said the championship in the last for editions featured only amateurs, commending Makinde for including professionals in the fifth edition.
Alaba said that 72 professional golfers are already in Ibadan for the tournament, adding that the amateur golfers would join them in Ibadan on Friday for the Saturday event.
Among some of the professionals expected at the tournament are Ochei Odoh (IBB Golf Club), Sunday Olapade(MicCom Golf Club), Emeka Obi (IGC) and Martins Odoh (Minna Cantonment).