The 2023 IBB Independence Golf and Tennis tournament gets underway in Abuja, with the overall winner expected to cruise home with a brand new car from PAN Nigeria Ltd.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that over 500 players from Nigeria, and four other countries will jostling for honours at the prestigious event at the IBB International Golf and Country Club.
The event which began with the tennis tournament on Sept. 15 is expected to end with the golf event’s final on Oct. 1.
Banjo Obaleye, the IBB Golf Club Captain, told newsmen at a news confrence on Tuesday that the tournament would be a remarkable event.
He said the Club, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and partner of government, had set out to organise the 2023 Independence Golf and Tennis Tournament.
“Our noble objectives, amongst others is to commemorate the 63rd Independence Anniversary of Nigeria.
“We intend to boost the international image of Nigeria and use sports as a rallying platform for the unity, security and peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians.
“We also want to use the event to boost the economy of Nigeria, and highlight the business opportunities that abound in the country,” he said.
Obaleye said that the IBB Independence Golf Tournament had long been a highlight on Nigeria’s golfing calendar, attracting top talents and participants from near and far.
He said that this year’s event was featuring a record number of over 500 golfers, with players coming from Rwanda, Cameroon, Uganda and Ghana.
“Our tournament showcases the beauty of golf in Nigeria and serves as a platform to nurture young talents.
“We take pride in our commitment to sustainability, with eco-friendly initiatives on the course.
“The breathtaking views of our golf course and the serene atmosphere set our tournament apart.
“We are also giving out a brand new car as the grand overall prize. Courtesy of PAN Nigeria Ltd, the donor of this star prize,” he said.
Ibrahim Babayo, the Chairman, Organising Committee and the Club’s Vice Captain assured the golfers, the media and the public of a “show stopper event.”
“I am particularly thrilled by the calibre and enthusiasm of our 2023 sponsors including PAN Nigeria Ltd. and Access Bank.
“Others are Sterling Bank, Unified Payments, Hope PSBank, TAJ Bank, Landmark Africa, Waltersmith, Stanbic IBTC and Golden Construction.
“We are committed to creating an unforgettable atmosphere and enhancing the experience of sponsors and spectators alike,” he said.
Shola Adebayo, the Competition Secretary said that the amateurs category was divided into four from category four comprising of handicap 30 to 54, to category one comprising of handicap 0 to 10.
“Category two comprises of handicap 11 to 18, while category three will feature handicap 19 to 29.
“Unlike the amateurs, the professionals will be playing over two days and their first round ended just a while ago.
“Tomorrow (Wednesday) in the morning as from 7 a.m. they (the pros) will come back for the final round which is going to be in two segments, i.e. the men’s and ladies professionals.
“The winning stake for the men is $4,000 dollars and $1,000 dollars for the ladies,” he said.
He said the star prize which was the vehicle donated by PAN Nigeria Ltd. would be won by the best nett playing between handicap 0 to 18.
He added that the others in the various categories will smile hope with other mouth-watering prizes and trophies.
The secretary said the format of play for the tournament was stroke play, adding that the event also had what is referred to as ‘inter country match play’.
“For those four countries that are coming, Nigeria will be playing against them and that’s going to be in the format of double and singles match play.
“The doubles match play will be on Friday, while the singles match play will be on Saturday.
“The ceremonial tee-off will take place on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. with some dignitaries, including the Sen. John Owan-Enoh, the Minister of Sports Development expected to represent the President.
“The Chief of Army of Staff will hopefully be here too and we have Captains of Industries as well as members of the Diplomatic community participating in the tournament,” he said.