Royals, moguls, political heavy weights and youngsters congregated from September 12 to 15, 2014, for the grand finale of the annual MTN World Golfer Championship in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state. It was a spectacular weekend at the magnificent Ibom Golf Resort, Uyo.
All golfers who qualified from the regional championships in Nigeria were present to battle for a place at the world championship taking place in Durban, South Africa later in the year.
One of the most exciting features of the national finals was the assemblage of high-profile golfers who graced the championship. Ranging from first-class traditional rulers, notable business executives, captains of industry and top politicians to youngsters and secondary school leavers, who were competing at different levels of the championship.
Prominent among them was foremost golf enthusiast, HRM King Alfred Papapreye Diete-Spiff, Amanyanabo of Twon- Brass, Bayelsa State; HRM, King Israel Gbobo Bobmanuel (II), Amayanabo of Abonnema, Rivers State; Mike Ikpoki, CEO MTN; Boni Obieze, CEO, Ringo Telecommunications Limited, Teju Ogunwomoju, MD, Servus Telecommunications Limited; Hon. Joe Poroma, Commissioner for Social Welfare and Orientation, Rivers State; Jerry Kalu, Former Chairman, Enyimba Football Club, Aba, Abia state; Obinna Nweje, GM, Regional Operations, East, MTN Nigeria, among others.
A GENTLEMAN’S GAME INDEED
Universally, golf is regarded as a gentleman’s game. It’s all based on the rules and their implementation, and how the golfers conduct themselves on the course. If a player does something wrong, he calls a penalty on himself. Therefore, the etiquette is basically do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
This was one of the landmarks that distinguished this year’s World Golfers Nigerian Championship. It was indeed a gentleman’s championship, from the dignity that surrounded the players to the appearance of each player, the golfers radiated decorum and modesty.
“It is a game of fairness and sincerity. Every player is not just a gentleman, he is a gentleman personified. In fact, golf is life,” King Alfred Papapreye Diete-Spiff, ascertained.
MTN’S BRAND PROMISE
The title sponsor, MTN, is noted for its brand’s promise of enriching lives. The championship is used to further project this principle. The brand ensured that the golfers at the championship, irrespective of age, class and status, positively felt the presence of the telecoms giant. At the event, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mike Ikpoki, who also played in the 11-15 category reiterated the company’s commitment to the development of the game in Nigeria, and the continuous enabling and empowerment of millions of Nigerians and Nigerian businesses across the country.
“In fact, through our innovative product offerings and value-adding services, we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to making our customers’ lives a whole lot better. With MTN World Golfers Championship, we provide a very exciting and competitive platform to develop the players. With all modesty, this is the biggest and best golfers championship in the country and we are proud of it. More so, as a brand that always encourages its customers to be better in all they do, we shall continue to give it our support,” he declared.
The winners in the five categories will represent Nigeria in their respective categories at the world championship in Durban, South Africa later this month.
Interestingly, the winners of these year’s edition led by a youngster, Sunday Ajah, a 23 year-old secondary school leaver from Aba Golf Course, Abia state, won the major category, 0-5.The former student of Boys Technical College, Aba, beat his close rivals in the 0-5 category, Peter Eben-Spiff of Ikoyi Golf Club, Lagos and another young player, Abiodun Oyewoga of Sagamu Golf Club with a net score of 147 to 153 and 162 respectively.
In other categories, Francis Demekaa of Air Assault Club, Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Usenobong Akpabio of Ibom Golf Club, Akwa Ibom state and Angela Uwabor, of Ibori Golf Club, Delta state emerged winners in the 6-10, 11-15 and 16-20 categories respectively. Babajide Oredugba of Ikeja Golf Club, Lagos state won the 21-25 category.
IBOM GOLF RESORTS’ SERENITY
One of the most exciting features of the 2014 World Golfers Nigerian Championship that cannot be overlooked is the serenity and aesthetic environment of the Ibom Golf Resorts. The expansive golf course and the magnificent Le Meridien Ibom Hotel, offered the participants a refreshing and peaceful atmosphere. The resort which provides one of the best golf facilities in the continent, is reputed for its international standard, prompt service and modern amenities. No doubt, the resort contributed in no small measure to the success of the championship.