Fifteen Nigerian players, including Odoh, who won the maiden edition in Malabo two years ago,will fly out on Monday for the tournament which officially tees off on December 10.
The tournament will feature 68 international professional golfers, who will be bidding for 30 cut spots, plus the lion chunk of the $70,000 (about N14 million) prize fee on the table. It will be played over 72 holes at the Presidential Golf Course, Mongomo.
Nigeria’s No 3 ranked Odoh, breezed into the country on Monday from South Africa where he had, since the first week of October, played in a string of tournaments on the Sunshine Tour. He told THISDAY that the battalion of international players will make the task herculean for the Nigerian legion.
Nigerian players- Odoh and Gift Willy- won the only two editions of the 3e Actuaries Equatorial Guinea Open Championship.But the former winner of the Nigerian Order of Merit warned that other nationals would come out strongly to put an end to the Nigerian domination.
“I know some of the players that will be coming from the Sunshine Tour; and they are very good players. So, definitely, it is a very deep field and is not going to be a walkover,” Odoh said.
He tipped himself, Willy, Sunday Olapade and Michael Ubi, as the professionals who can match other foreign players arising from their international exposure and consistency on the local tour.Though he did not sparkle on the Sunshine Tour Odoh can tap from the experience from the trip in a bid to win his second title in Equatorial Guinea.
“I should definitely be ready to compete in Mongomo. I enter every event with a mindset that I am going to win. I am now trying to see my weaknesses by working on my chipping and putting. I need a little bit of touch on my short-game and ball striking, “he gushed.
He played four tournaments on the last quarter of the Sunshine Tour event, struggling to make the cut and forced to virtually pre-qualify in all the events.
“My best shot was not to be. I had to pre-qualify to play in almost all the tournaments. I got into four starts and two main events but unfortunately I did not make the average cut in any of them. But obviously there are lots of positives to learn from it if I were to be there again,”he said.
Odoh’s adventure started at the Sunfish River Challenge at Fish River Golf and Country Club near East London. He followed suit at the Vodacom Origin of Golf at Koro Creek and the Vodacom Origin of Golf final in Sebula. He also played the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open. But he did not scale through the qualifier in Dunhill Championship.