Nigeria’s only active female professional golfer, Uloma Mbuko, will compete in the 3e Actuaries Equatorial Guinea Open Championship from December 5 through December 12 in Mongomo.
Mbuko, who turned professional in January 2008, will contend against 11 opponents in the event expanded to accommodate female golfers for the first time since the tournament began in 2013.
The teaching professional at IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja is reputed for dominating the Nigerian amateur rank with a harvest of victories at Nicon Hilton Open, Benin Ladies, IBB Ladies Open, Ikeja Ladies Open, Ikoyi Ladies Open and Air Assault Ladies Open among others.
Mongomo is the home town of Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who hosted the last two editions to give a boost to the profile of the tournament.
The total purse of $50,000 will be split among the ladies with the overall winner after three days of intense competition, will take home $26, 000, while the second position will receive $10,000. In the worst case scenario, Uloma will be guaranteed of a share of $1,000 if she is the 12th player on the leaderboard.
The tournament is facilitated by Olawale Opayinka of 3E Actuaries and the focus on the ladies is to develop the female game and firm up interest in golf among the local Equatorial Guinean women.
The female list made available to THISDAY last night comprises, Jean Chua, Malaysia; Jane Turner, UK; Charlotte Austwick , UK; Paula Hartado, Colombia; Rachael Goodall, UK; Uloma Mbuko, Nigeria and Anna Rossi, Italy.
The rest are, Roigh Kyle, US; Leigh Whittaker, Germany; Luna Sobron Galmes, Spain; Modisha Bella, South Africa; Miriame Ndiaye, Senegal and Chiara Brizzolari, Italy.
The male field will feature 48 players of diverse nationalities including Brazil, UK, Nigeria, Spain, France, Ghana, Uganda, Morocco, Cameroun, Gabon, Ivory Coast and Portugal among others.
Defending champion, Oche Odoh of Nigeria who banked $15,000 last year, will lead the pack playing for the total amount of $100,000 over 72 holes.
Odoh held back the firepower of Ebela Desire of Cameroun, Lewis Parker of UK and Ghana’s Emos Korblah to win an entertaining contest by four shots at 8 under par.
He will be joined by seven other Nigerian wild cards namely, Sunday Olapade, Gift Willy, Kamalu Bako, Morgan Atako, Francis Christopher, Michael Ubi and Mohammed K. Haruna.