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Golf: Meristem Open debuts with five countries 



Photo Caption: Femi Olagbenro, Golf Manager, Lakowe Lakes Golf Club, Adefemi Taiwo, Head Brand and Corporate Communications, Meristem Securities, Wole Abegunde, Group Managing Director, Meristem Securities, Sulaiman Adedokun, Deputy Group Managing Director, Meristem Securities, Sam Emehelu, Media Director, PGD Tour

At least players from five African countries will be participating in the maiden edition of the Meristem Open Golf tournament, billed to take place at the Lakowe Lakes Golf Estate, Lagos.The new Professional Golf Development Tour spearheaded by Meristem Securities will tee off on 26 January through to 28 January 2023.

Golf Manager at the Lakowe Lakes Golf Estate, Femi Olagbenro, said more than 83 professional players and category one amateurs have confirmed through online registration to take part in the inaugural Meristem Open.

“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 Tour is taking off on a strong footing as we have players from Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, and Zimbabwe already registered for the event.“Mr Olagbenro told reporters in Lagos.

“We have the National order of merit of different countries participating. We have over 200 golf professionals in Nigeria alone and more than 60 of them are top players within the local scene. 

“Also, we are bringing Andrew Oche, Olapade Sunday, Vincent Toga and others who are all coming from an event last week coming into this one. 

“They are all in their best form coming to compete. We are looking forward to their actions. It’s going to be fun.” he added.

According to Meristem’s head of Brand and Corporate Communications, Adefemi Taiwo, the idea of the Tour was birthed as the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

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 honour to all stakeholders.

“Meristem, as a Wealth Manager, will commit its resources; human, management, and, in a way financially to 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 potentials locked within them get closer than they have ever been to achieving their full potential.”

Wole Abegunde, the Group Managing Director of Meristem Securities, said he is very positive about the potential of golfing talents in the country and said players like Peter Akakasiaka, who was the first African to qualify for the finals of the British Open in 1987 can be rediscovered. 

He said the likes of Lateef Lasisi, Late Paul Odoh, Late Ali Abdullahi, Late Christian Godfrey, and Oche Odoh are all evidence 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.”

The Meristem Open has a prize purse of N10 million naira and would be decided over 56 holes

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