By Paul Mumeh, Media Assistant to Senator David Mark.
About 300 golfers from Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal are competing for honours at the Otukpo Golf and Country club, Benue state in the Pro Am golf championship organized by the Nigerian Golf Federation(NGF)to commemorate the 70th birthday of the immediate past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark.
Born on April 8, 1948 in Otukpo, Benue state, the former Senate President commemorates his 70th birthday on Sunday April 8, 2018.
At least 120 professional golfers teed – off for a share of the N7million purse prize as Mike Ubi of Air Assault Golf Club, Port Harcourt edged out Sunday Olapade from Maicon Golf Club Ada, Osun state via “sudden Death” victory after both players tied at three under.
Emos Korblah from Ghana and Samba Jiang from Senegal are among top contenders for honours at the weeklong championship.
More than 150 Amateur golfers are playing over 36 holes in two days split into morning and evening tee off times.
Performing the tee off ceremony yesterday, Senator Mark stated: “Words cannot capture the expression of my feelings today. I’m honoured and satisfied with the large turn out of golfers and guests . It is impressive”.
The former Senate helmsman further assured of his unwavering commitment towards the development of golf in Nigeria especially at the junior category.
He noted the exploits of the Otukpo International Golf Academy in global championships so far was a needed impetus for professional golf development in Nigeria.
According to Mark, “Students of the academy have constantly been participating in international championships, competing with some of the best in the world, sharpening their skills and becoming the good ambassadors of Nigeria”.
Elder statesman and chairman, Board of Trustees IBB Golf and Country club, General I.B. M. Haruna (rtd) and former Kogi state governor Captain Idris Wada, led Abuja contingent to the tournament.
All the golf clubs in Nigeria as well as Achimota in Ghana are participating in the championship.
The Pro Am golf tournament will be climaxed with a thanksgiving mass on Sunday (8/4/18) at St. Augustine Catholic Church, Otukpo, Benue state.