Epe sets new course record as Acropolis tourney joins golf calendar

Big occasions bring out big grand performances from top-quality players and so it was at the inaugural Acropolis Gardens and Residence Golf Course, Okija, Anambra State, where Nigeria’s number player, Francis Epe, shot a brilliant 12 under par, 60 to set the course record at the weekend.

With over 80 top professional and amateur players from across West Africa on the 42-hectare nine-hole facility, Epe needed to be at his brilliant best to top the ladder and that he did in style. And he attributed his performance to the well-laid-out course.

“The course is well laid out and played to my strength. I just told myself that I was going to avoid all the sand traps and water hazards, and I also chipped in twice in the round. In all, I had 12 birdies and six pars. It was a bogey-free round,” he said.

Epe’s record of 12 under par was four shots ahead of Python Golf Club’s Gift Willy, who claimed the runner-up prize in the professional category with eight under par 64, while Benin Golf Club’s Chukwudi Okoro placed third; shooting 67.

36 handicapper, Nkechi Nwaokolo, with a 112 gross score won the lady’s category with her net of 76 beating Rita Izojie with two strokes at 78 net, while Nkechi Musa-Tolani picked the third prize, returning a 79 net score in 18 holes.

Speaking after the competition, promoter of the Acropolis Gardens and Residence Golf Course, Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi, said that the goal was to re-introduce Okija, his community, to the world.

“Okija has many interpretations in people’s mind, we want people to rethink what this place is; when it is mentioned. The Acropolis Golf Course is one of our many planned projects to make this happen,” he said.

Azudialu-Obiejesi said his fulfilment was seeing the class of people that showed up for the inaugural event, and how far some of them have had to travel to feature at the event.

“Acropolis Gardens and Residence Golf Course is now open and we have a befitting world-class 155-room capacity at the Acropolis Gardens and Residence Golf Course to cater for their accommodation while they are here. We are planning to hold a series of events at least once in a quarter that would involve the professionals going forward.”

Also speaking on the facility, Professional Golfers’ Association of Nigeria, represented by its director, Tony Philmoore, commended the course and said it qualifies for a grade A facility given the level of excellence that was put in at every level of the construction.

“I dare say that this facility is one of the best in the country, as the director of the PGA in Nigeria, I am very proud that the promoters of this project did not hold anything back in making sure they gave a world-class infrastructure.

“The present PGA executives will be working with this team to make sure they realise their goal,” he said.

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