Nigeria Ranked 1,741 By IGF | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria Ranked 1,741 By IGF

Posted: Aug 26, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

A scandalous 1,741 ranking of Nigeria by the International Golf Federation (IGF) remains a source of worry as stakeholders believe that only top local and international tournaments participation by Nigerian professionals could remedy the situation.

Andrew Oche Odoh, Nigeria’s number one and most traveled professional has the ranking (1,741) and has vowed to improve on it before bowing out.

Tony Uduimo, former Director of the Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria (PGAN), speaking on this development said that, “As far as there are no major tournaments in Nigerian, the ranking of the professionals will remain very, very low.”

He expatiated further, “Besides, most of the professionals are not exposed. So, how can their ranking improve and those who manage to participate in tournaments outside Nigeria, what is the quality of the tournaments?”

However, Uduimo who is the technical assistance to the PGA Board assured that the PGAN board would better the situation.

“There is need for PGAN to create tournaments that must have international recognition and participation because Nigeria is part of the International Golf Federation (IGF) and cannot be in isolation,” he reasoned.

Nigerian players were nowhere near the just concluded Rio Olympic golf event as only current major champions across the men and women competitions were given the nod, while South Africa and Morocco were part of the 120 players that made the history after 112 years of golf exit from the Games.

Thus, Henrik Stenson, the current Open champion represented Sweden with Danny Willett, the Masters champion was part of Team Great Britain.

For the women, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko was number one on the Olympic Rankings, having won the ANA Inspiration earlier in the season. Brooke Henderson, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship flew the flag of Canada.

Invariably, the PGAN Director has said earlier in an interview that a new tournament for Nigerian professionals would hold before the year runs out even as a date is still to be announced.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) under the leadership of Jubril Nazifi is presently passing through tough times as it cannot even sponsor any tournament owing to the harsh economic situation of the country.

Thus, the World Junior Masters in Las Vegas, USA which held in July had only oversea-based Tokunbo Perdro representing the country as the local players could not raise enough money for themselves to participate.

It was too bad that not even the President (Nazifi) of the Federation could travel to cheer up the Nigerian sole representative – Pedro – who finished on a pathetic note.

Nigeria is also at the verge of missing out of the forthcoming World Junior Open billed for Mexico as funding remains a major challenge – Nigeria registered late for the championship.