The 2023 Independence Day tournament of the IBB International Golf and Country Club came to a thrilling conclusion on Sunday night at the Club House in Abuja.
The one-week long tournament commenced on Monday, September 25 and rounded off on Nigeria’s Independence Day anniversary with the announcement of the winners of different categories.
A member of the club, Philip Joe Poroma, emerged the overall winner of the 63rd Nigeria’s Independence Anniversary Golf event.
In a rare showing, the handicap 14 amateur golfer played 80 gross with the best nett of 66 to beat over 500 other contestants to the coveted trophy and a becomes a proud winner of a brand new car prize courtesy of PAN.
He was also decorated with the green jacket, the ultimate symbol of success in golf.
In his words, it was an accomplishment of a dream, saying: “I am highly elated to emerge the winner of this year’s event. Though, I had the dream and I worked tirelessly for it, but I am still surprised. I, however, dedicating the trophy to Nigeria, my country.
“I also salute all the participants of this year’s event for their doggedness, but I want to say it can be only one winner, and it’s me.”
The minister of sports development, Senator John Owan Enoh, who teed off the grand finale of the Independence Golf Tournament, described golf as a lovely game and applauded the passion, commitment and consistency of the IBB International Golf and Country Club in hosting the yearly event, saying sports breeds social inclusiveness, enables diplomacy amongst countries, fosters friendship and business networks.
According to a press statement by the media consultant for the tournament, Mr Kayode Adeniyi, the results of the inter-country match-play showed that Nigeria defeated Uganda by 8 and half to 6 and half in the double.
Also, in the double match-play against Cameroon, hosts Nigeria outplayed Cameroon with 15 and half scored to 3 and half.
It was victory all the way for the hosts as they also won the double match play by 13 and half to 3 and half against Ghanaian squad, and 19 and half to 10 and half in Singles play.
The host captain, Dr Olabanjo Obaleye, was full of praise to all who made the event successful, saying this year’s event will go down in history as the most attended by foreign countries.
In his own submission, the chairman of the organising committee and Vice Captain of the Club, Ibrahim Babayo, said golf was becoming a big foreign policy to a lot of countries and Nigeria cannot afford to sit back and watch.
Representatives of the participating countries saluted the organisers for an excellent outing both in the organisation and performance.
Highlights of the day were the presentation of trophies and prizes to various winners, as well as cutting of the independence anniversary cake.