PGA Tour opens in Oturkpo next week
The full assembly of Professional Golfers Association of Nigerian (PGAN) will hold at the St. Mark Golf Course Akpegede in Oturkpo February 1 to 4, when the Pa Aikwuta Mark Memorial Championship will be in full swing.
The four-day event will officially open the 2017 professional season as players start a fresh hustle for places on the Tour Order of Merit (ranking). Sunday Odegha, who led the 2016 Tour’s OOM, is the player to beat at the event.
PGAN Tournament Director, Uche Eze, says the first event is always a tensed one and it takes beyond the player’s skills to finish well there. “You will need to be very calm and very focused otherwise you will pay dearly for every mistake,” he said.
Eze explains, “the Tour’s first event is also our Tour Card event, where players, who fall outside top 30 in the previous years, are given chance to fight for a place in the exempt class that will not pre-qualify for events for the rest of the season. This puts a lot of burden on players naturally and calls for some measure of character to sail.”
The Tour Card event would tee-off on January 31 ahead of the main event, which is scheduled for February 1 to 4. Tour number one player, Odegha lost last year’s version on play-off to Ghana’s Vincent Torgah and believes this event sets the tone for him to get his pound of flesh.
“I enter for every event to win it. I am doing pretty fine and I am in good spirit. This is the first event of the year and I am not going to be taking chances at all,” he said.
Though Odegha has hinted that he is preparing to spend some time this season on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa, he is equally ambitious of keeping his rating back home.
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