Willy, Korblah share lead as tour opener ends today
By Eno-Abasi Sunday
This came in form of the dominance they are enjoying at the season opener, the Pa Aikwuta Mark Memorial Golf Championship currently on at the Otukpo Golf Club in Benue State. The event is the first of the three expected to be held in quick succession early in the 2012 professional golf season.
Next week, the tour professionals will move to the Ibori Golf and Country Club in Asaba, Delta State, before returning to Otukpo the upper week for the Benue state Governor’s Cup. However, going into the third round of the first ranking event, Emos Korblah tied with Gift Willy for the first place.
Both players returned one under par on the first day of the 72 holes event and complemented their standing with 72 level par at the close of the second round to stand ahead of the 70 players, who scaled the pre-qualification hurdle. Of the 70 that pre-qualified, only 42 started the third round, having made the cut.
“It is just the beginning of the year and it is a good time to make an attempt for the top of the ranking,” Willy said, adding that more events would definitely throw up more new challenges.
In 2011, Willy won two international titles – the Baby Mariah Jammeh International Championship in Banjul, The Gambia, and Open Du Port Gentil in Gabon. Winner of the 2011 President’s Cup Golf Championship and Nigeria’s former number one, Umoh Edet, trails the clubhouse leaders by six shots.
Mike Ubi, Gboyega Oyebanji, Oche Odoh and Mustapha Abubakar are other players that are also well placed to give the joint leaders a fight for their money.
The PGAN foresees a busy and promising 2012 season judging from the number of tourneys that have so far been confirmed as well as those nearing confirmation. This will be in sharp contrast with the severe paucity of tourneys the Tour witnessed in the out gone season.
PGAN Tournament Director, Dominic Andrew, had told The Guardian in an earlier interview: “We are looking forward to a very busy and promising 2012, which we hope will be better than last season. From history, election years are always very tough for us and 2011 was no exception.
“We hope that by 2015, things would have normalised and we would have been able to have a definite calendar that may not always be interrupted by political activities in the country.