Akure - With the absent of four of the five-best ranked players on the Nigeria’s Professional Golfers Association Tour, IBB International Golf Club player Marcus Elisha has set the pace with a course record 68, on the first day of play at the CMCL Championship in Ondo State.
“It was a beautiful round’ he told pganigeria.com after shooting seven birdies on the prod first outing at the championship course.
“All I did was to avoid the rough. You will need more than luck to out square from there. The course setting is lovely but it is highly tasking; mentally,” he said.
The result has put him in four shots lead at the on-going CMCL Championship which was making her first stop at the Smokin Hills Golf Course Ilara Imokin in Ondo State after earlier editions has been played in Abeokuta, Ilorin and IBB Golf Clubs over the year.
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Five players are tied in the second place, four shots behind Elisha into the second round, they include Mustapha Abdullahi of Ilorin Golf Club, Basiru Bakara of Lakowe Lakes Golf and Country Estate, Lateef Lasisi of Abeokuta Golf Club, Peter Adikpe of Minna Cantonment Golf Club and Francis Epe of Ikoyi Golf Club. Except for Lateef Lasisi, no player in the leading group has ever won the CMCL title.
Current number one player, Emos Korblah; three-time winner of the event Oche Odoh, Gift Willy current number four ranked player and Vincent Torgah have all pulled out of the event for various reasons.
Odoh is rounding up his paper works for the British Open pre-qualifier he is billed to feature in June along with Gboyega Oyebanji. Korblah and Willy are in Libreville to contest for the Libreville Open honours which runs same week as the present event (Willy won the event last year). For Torgah he is taking weeks off in the United States after failing to make it past the regional qualifying of The US Open from the Duke University Golf Course.
The CMCL Open is a one field event, meaning the senior players are not categorized at the event, while the total winning purse for the professional is N5 million. Amateur players are billed to tee on Saturday May 23 and Sunday May 24 after the pros must have concluded proceeding on Friday May 22.
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