Cameroonian Priestly Nji on Saturday emerged winner of the inaugural Sagamu Cup Championship at the prestigious Lafarge Cement Golf Course in Sagamu, Ogun State.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the golf championship which teed off on Wednesday came to an end on Saturday.
Edwin Osuhor, the tournament’s Technical Director told NAN that on his way to winning the title, Nji did not drop a shot until the final hole on Saturday, as he cruised to his maiden African Tour victory in the Sagamu Cup Championship.
“Even with the dropped shot, he still carded a three-under-par 69.
“Eventually the Cameroonian could have tied his bogey free round record of 68 save for the bogey he made on the 18th hole to finish three under for the tournament.
“He was one stroke clear of Nigeria’s Francis Epe and Ghanaian Vincent Togarh – all of whom put a lot of pressure on Nji with rounds of 68 and 69 respectively.
NAN also reports that Nji was on fire in the third round on Friday setting a new record as he shot the best round on the course, and of the tournament, with a 4 under 67 to move into a tie for second at level Par.
Nji had posted a bogey-free round which featured four birdies.
The Cameroonian who entered the third round at four over par, started the blitz when he picked up birdies at hole’s number two and four and had no dropped shot throughout the first nine holes turning in a two under ( 34 ) on the front-nine.
Another early birdie on the back-nine came in at the 10th hole, while he made successive pars untill the par-four on the 17th where he sank another mouthwatering birdie to entertain the spectators.
He then sealed it off with a par at the 18th, to close the day with a bogey free round of four under par 67 to tie for second alongside Torgah at level par, just one shot off the lead going into the final day.
Nigeria’s Mike Ubi who also had an impressive round shot a 2 under 69 in the third round to surge into the lead heading into the final day.
Mike who held a one shot lead over Vincent and Nji, was bogey free on the first-nine holes with a 33 and could have extended his lead by two strokes.
The Portharcourt-based professional could have had a bogey free round also.
However, a failed attempt to sink a Par putt at the 18th was the only blemish he had in the third round as he lead the field at one under par over three rounds.
Elsewhere on the course, Ikoyi-based professional Francis Epe dropped three spots down the leader board to fourth place for a tie alongside Zimbabwe’s Visitor Mapwanya at one over after posting a three over par 74 in the third round.
An elated Nji was quoted as saying after the game that the Sagamu Cup victory was a dream come true for him.
“It’s awesome,” laughed Nji afterwards. “This is what dreams are made of. When I get up in the morning and I think about it – it’s definitely been a dream of mine since I joined the Tour.
“I’m just happy to be chasing the dream,” Nji was quoted as saying.
Osuhor noted that it was indeed a rollercoaster ride for the Cameroonian in the fourth and final round.
“With the chasing pack all going so low after the first nine holes, it was a busy day for Pristhy.
“He started off feeling some nerves while Mike Ubi was still leading the field, got through that and then started making some putts.
“From there, it was smooth sailing up until the last couple of holes when he realised he was ahead and he needed to know what he was doing,” he said.
“I just felt that playing defensive golf against tough players was a lot harder than attacking,” Nji was quoted as saying.
The tournament director noted that Nji showed maturity in the final round, shrugging off pressure from such players as Togarh who finished runner-up alongside Epe at two under par for the tournament and Ubi.
“Compatriot Magnus Onumajuru, also had a great tournament in Sagamu, sharing the fourth spot with the in-form Ubi at one over par.
“Zimbabwe’s Visitor Mapwanya, Chidi Tobias and Biggie Chibvuri, finished seventh, eighth and ninth positions with cumulative scores of three over, five over and seven over par respectively over 72 holes.
“Meanwhile P. Adegoke finished 9th position, as day one co-leader Ghanaian Enoch Owusu finished 10th on the leader board,” he said.
NAN also reports that the four-round 72-par tournament which had a prize purse of 25,000 dollars saw the winner pocket a whopping 4,000 dollars as prize money.
The 2019 African Tour season is expected to climax with the tour championship at the prestigious IBB International Golf and Country Club in Abuja in December.