Over 33 professional golfers have gathered at the lush Damang golf course for the 2023 edition of the Gold Fields PGA Golf championship which teed off yesterday in Damang in the Western region.
This year’s edition also marks the 10th anniversary of the championship and is expected to produce a lot of thrills.
Defending champion, Kojo Barni, will lead a strong Ghanaian contingent made up of Vincent Torgah, Emos Korblah, Lucky Ayisah and Francis Torgah against a foreign invasion of golfers from Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria.
The biggest motivation would be the increase in cash prizes to GH¢385,000; affecting the top prize of the tournament (Regular pro) winner to GH¢80,000.
That marks a significant increase from the previous years’, and is expected to spark the adrenaline of golfers as witnessed on the opening day of the championship.
At an impressive opening ceremony yesterday, the Director of Operation of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Ghana, Alhaji Ahmed Padori, challenged the golfers to adhere to the tenets of the game which is fair play.
“The game like every other game has its own unique principles and that is fair play. So I will urge you to abide by them. I expect you to challenge Vincent Toga; challenge Barnni. Offer them a stiff opposition to make the event very keen.”
The Chairman of the Organisation Committee, Mr Hans De Beer, said the grounds as usual was in a very good state and spoke about other innovations for this year’s championship.
“We are privileged to work and prepare the grounds for the championship. The next four days are expected to be intense and we are really overwhelmed. This year we have included ladies and we believe this innovation will help nurture a lot of women for a professional competition.”
Meanwhile, the defending champion, Kojo Barnni, has set his sight on a successful defence of his title.
“I know the competition will be tough. All eyes will be on me but I have prepared well for battle. I will play my game and be focused on winning the championship back-to-back.”
BY TIMES SPORTS REPORTER