NO fewer than 83 professional golf players are expected to participate at the Professional Golf Development (PGD) Tour, maiden edition of Meristem Securities, scheduled to tee-off at Lakowe Lakes Golf Estate Resort in Lagos from Jan. 26 to Jan. 28.
Adefemi Taiwo, Head of Brand and Corporate Communications, Meristem Securities, disclosed this at a news conference on Tuesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Meristem Open has a prize purse of N10 million and will be decided over 56 holes.
Taiwo said the idea of the tour was part of the company’s corporate responsibility to the society.
She said: “Nigeria’s athleticism, industry, and sporting talent have long been evident in the game of golf, and this project is set to help us underscore that.
“We are very confident that the PGD Tour can be a platform upon which the best golfing talents would get wings to fly, and bring value and honor to all stakeholders.
“Meristem, as a Wealth Manager, will commit its resources; human, management, and, in a way financially to grow the tour, while leveraging key relationships to drive this vision.
“It is for us, a corporate responsibility to help this group of athletes who have a lot of potential locked within them get closer than they have ever been to achieving their full potential.”
She called on other corporate organisations to join resources to develop golf at all levels sponsored by the firm, through the platform – the PGD Tour.
“With all said, the inaugural event of The Meristem Open is a statement in leading all our friends and the golfing community to join us in making this happen for the future of the game, the country, and a budding generation that is brimming with talent, audacity and wanting to re-write history,” she said.
Femi Olagbenro, the Golf Manager at Lakowe Lakes Golf Estate, said 83 professional players and category one amateurs had confirmed through online registration to take part in the inaugural event.
“This number is as at the moment and, does not include other classes of amateur players that have been invited to grace the event and experience the new Tour and Lakowe Lakes Golf Estate lifestyle edge.
“I am confident the tur is taking off on a strong footing as we have players from Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, and Zimbabwe already registered for the event,” he said.
Wole Abegunde, the Group Managing Director of Meristem Securities, said he was positive about the potential of golfing talents in the country.
He referred to Peter Akakasiaka, who was the first African to qualify for the finals of the British Open in 1987.
He said Lateef Lasisi, Late Paul Odoh, Late Ali Abdullahi, Late Christian Godfrey, and Oche Odoh we’re all evidences that some measure of corporate support could help Nigeria make some mark on the professional golf stage.
“We are very confident that the PGD Tour can be a platform upon which the best golfing talents would get wings to fly, bring value and honour to all stakeholders,” Abegunde said.(NAN)