Richard Ginika Izuora
Francis Epe has emerged overall best professional player at the maiden Series One Pro-Am Golf tournament held at Ikoyi Club 1938, Lagos on Sunday, 20 March 2022. The event was hosted by the Pro-Am Golf Group and sponsored by Zenera Consulting and Giba Golf Nigeria amongst several other sponsors.
Aimed at supporting professional golfers while enabling amateur golfers to improve their game, the Series 1 Pro-Am tournament involved both amateurs and professionals from various clubs playing together in teams whilst the professional golfers also competed against themselves. Each team comprised of three amateurs and one professional playing a stableford scoring format.
Epe emerged victorious after beating the first runner-up, Goke Ogunsanya, in the playoffs in a dramatic fashion. The duo had tied overall best winners after playing the regulation 18 holes with 71 gross apiece and had to play hole 18 again in the playoffs. Whilst Ogunsanya’s drive from the teebox found a sand trap on the right and he ended up a boogie, Epe drove the 315 metres par-4 dogleg right hole right to the green. Missing his eagle putt, Epe easily tapped in his second putt for a birdie to the admiration of the entire crowd, who cheered both players.
“I am very grateful to the organisers of this top tournament. Golf is mostly a mental game, and I was fortunate to be able to bring my A-game unto the course today.” Epe said.
According to Fred Akalamudo of Giba Golf Nigeria, one of the major sponsors of the event, the tournament has been a success.
“I think it has been a highly successful competition,” said Akalamudo, who also played in the tournament, “The event was well attended by both spectators and players. Altogether, we had over 108 top golfers who gave their best in a friendly but highly competitive atmosphere. We aim to support the pros and a big thank you to Ikoyi Club 1938 for providing the spectacular opportunity to achieve this.”
After an exciting game, the team comprising of Peggy Onwu, Meka Olowola, Akeem Lawal and Monday Eze emerged the overall winners of the tournament with 126 stableford points ahead of O.J Ebong, Peter Okeke, Tony Onwu and Akinwande Oladipo who came second with 124points. Paul Brisibe, Ogemdi Akalamudo, Fred Akalamudo and Friday Akpodiete came a close third with 123 points.
“More than often, amateur golf players see the professionals from afar. Here at Ikoyi club 1938, we have been working with professionals for about a year during our weekly kitties and because of that experience, we play a lot better now. Therefore, we wanted more players to experience the quality of play and improvements in their games,” said Ademola Osindero, Team Lead for the Pro-AM Golf Group.
Speaking at the prize-giving ceremony, Meka Olowola, Managing Partner of Zenera Consulting, “We came out there today primarily to have fun and grateful to be able to participate in such an exciting tournament consisting of perhaps the best pros and amateurs.”
“ It is, therefore, gratifying to have won the overall best team despite the quality of players on the course.” added Olowola, a member of the first-place winning team.