Golf: Meristem Pro-Am begins with tie


Four players registering 69, three under par on the opening day of the Professional Development Golf Tour managed by Meristem Securities have set the tone for a weekend of hostilities at the Lakowe Lakes Golf and Country Estate in Lagos.

Ikoyi Club 1938 duo Sunday Olapade and Francis Epe kept the charge from the home front, while Kouame Richard from Ivory Coast and Vincent Torgah from Ghana joined in sharing the spotlight on the opening day.

Femi Olagbenro, Golf Manager at the host club, said, “The scores today (Thursday) are encouraging and fully speak to the need for active playing time by the professionals. The PGD Tour will complement whatever other stakeholders have on the plate for professional golf development and I am confident the scores will even get better.”

He said 87 professional golfers teed off at the Meristem Open, the inaugural event of the Professional Golfers Development Tour, which Adefemi Taiwo, Meristem’s Head of Brand and Corporate Communication, said she hoped would be the beginning of a new era in professional golf development in Nigeria.

“We would love to galvanise support for the immense talents that we have seen in professional golf. And given also different high points from the professional standpoint, a lot can be achieved for the betterment of all stakeholders,” she said.

In the fifth place, two shots off the four first-round leaders is Friday Akpodiette, while Gift Willy, Enoch Owusu, Mohammed Haruna, Francis Christopher and Abubakar Mustapha are tied in the sixth place will level par score on the Lakowe Golf Course.

Other top players lurking ahead of the second-round play include former Nigeria number one Nojeem Sofela, Liman Mohammed, Chukwudi Okoro, and Paul Patrick who all shot 73, one over par. Kamalu Bako, Nigeria’s current number-one, is five shots adrift of the joint-leaders.

The Meristem Open has a prize purse of N10m and will be decided over three days at the Championship course of Lakowe Lakes Golf Club in Lagos from January 26 to 28.