No fewer than 250 professional and amateur golfers are expected to participate in the 5th edition of Seyi Makinde Women Support Professional and Amateur Golf Championship.
Retired Col., Ade Sunmonu, Captain, Ibadan Golf Club (IGC) told newsmen in Ibadan on Tuesday during a news conference to herald the championship.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the annual championship, sponsored by Makinde, now Governor of Oyo State, started in 2015 at the IGC.
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).
Sunmonu said that over 72 professional golfers from across Nigeria would slug it out for prize money of five million naira, while the amateurs would go home with different gift prizes.
He lauded Makinde for his immeasurable support for sports development and urged 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 equipment 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 with the state Ministry of Culture and Tourism as well as schools toward the development of golf.
Mr Bernard Nduka, IGC Administrative Officer, confirmed that no fewer than 150 amateur golfers are expected to participate in the amateur category (Handicap 1-5) of the championship.
Mr Seyi Alaba, the IGC Competition Secretary, said the championship, in the last four editions, featured only amateurs, and commended Makinde for including professionals in the fifth edition.
Alaba said that the 72 professional golfers were in Ibadan for the tournament, adding that the amateur golfers would join them in Ibadan on Friday for the Saturday event.
Earlier, Mrs Ronke Adepetu, the initiator of the championship, said the aim of the competition was to support Makinde.
According to her, Makinde has earlier promised to ensure 36 per cent slot for women in his cabinet, if elected.
“We initiated the championship in 2015 to support Makinde’s gesture for the women.We appreciate him on this because it has always been our agitation for long.
“ Makinde is a lover of sport. He is a philanthropist and golfer who has always supported sport development in all ramifications,’’ she said.
She expressed appreciation to Makinde for ensuring consistency in the championship.
Adepetu said that annual event would also feature medical check-up, cataract surgery, distribution of eye glasses and several other gifts.
NAN reports that the event, which commenced on Tuesday at the Ibadan Golf Course, will end on Sunday. (NAN)