Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Two years after it began, the West African Golf Tour (WAGT) has broken new grounds by evolving into the African Tour with an ambitious plan to organise 16 tournaments in 2019.
The FCT Classic is scheduled to be the inaugural tournament on the African Tour and will take place from February 20 to February 23, 2019 at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja.
The logo of the new continental tour was unveiled in Abuja on Tuesday, on the eve of the Tour Championship by former Governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Omehia and the President of WAGT, Emeka Okatta.
Omehia disclosed that the rebranding was a response to the yeaning of stakeholders that the platform should be renamed as it had gone beyond West African contest considering that since inception, the WAGT had staged 23 tournaments.
He said African nations were excited with the transition as they believed the African Tour can compete with the best Tours in the whole world.
“We are proud of our record and will continue to improve on the game of golf. I am proud and can confidently tell you that our champions can effectively compete and play in other parts of the world. We will continue with it with the African Tour,” Omehia said.
In his response, Okatta, said that no one reckoned with the Tour when it started with six events two years ago, increased to seven tournaments last year and 10 this year.
Okatta assured that sponsors and players would not be let down with the soaring expectations from the African Tour, saying the proposed 16 events is a mere scratch of the back.
He disclosed that the African Tour 2019 will feature six events next year in the South West zone in Abeokuta, Sagamu and Ilara Mokin.
The Tour Championship, which tees off Wednesday at IBB Club, is the last WAGT event preceding the African Tour over 72 holes with the players jostling for $50,000.
The size of the field is for the top 30 players on the Order of Merit for the Tour with players also required to have played a minimum of six tournaments in the year to qualify.
The Order of Merit winner wins $5,000 automatically while the rest of the field compete for $45,000.