Festus Makelemi, Director of the professional Golfers’ Association of Nigeria has commended the effort of Oche Andrew Odoh on the Sunshine Tour saying he has been courageous as a lone competitor from Nigeria.
Odoh during the week shot 73, one over at the Irene Golf Club to miss a third successive chance to tee-off on the Sunshine Tour big ticket events (Joburg Open, Africa Open and Tshwane Open). Makelemi however says that the Nigerian player has been successful going by the conditions that surrounds his appearance.
“Odoh may not have made the cut into the finals, which on its own was very ambitious given he is the only Nigeria there. I think his chance would have increased if there were more players there with him that is why we must salute his courage.”
Makelemi insisted that, Odoh knowing the qualifying round was a tedious one choose to hinge his chances on it, “for instance at the Tswane Open he needed to finish in top-ten of the 122 players that he competed against to move to the next round, the odds were against him; he has to compete in a different weather, different golf course and alone. That is a lot of courage” he added.
Makelemi said the PGA of Nigeria has had a cordial relationship with her South African counterpart and only hopes to get her player to benefit better offering from the Sunshine Tour in the nearest future.
“For now despite the high ratings of the Sunshine Tour, the best we can get our players to is through the Pre-Qualifiers but we are hopeful to take that deeper soonest” he said.
PGA of Nigeria currently enjoys a five-man associate membership slot that has been on Sunshine Tour since 2001, which she encourages her top five-players to take advantage of.
Odoh will be trying his hands on the Investec next week before being joined by Willy Gift who has been held back in the country due to travel document renewal. The two players will head to Zimbabwe and Zambia from April 9 to 26 for The Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open and Mopani Cupper Mines Zambia Open.