The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has underscored the importance of golf to the country, hence the need to give it utmost attention.
He wondered why Ghana had paid little attention to the sport in spite of the huge advantage the country stands to gain if it is promoted.
Otumfuo, therefore, lauded Vodafone, headline sponsor of the 60th Asantehene Golf Championship for its commitment for the past five years.
In his address to close the championship at the Royal Golf Club in Kumasi, he stated, “you don’t have to be a professor in economics to know the benefits golf gives to a nation’s economy. It is a proven stimulant to economic growth and yet Ghana seems unconcerned to let this opportunity slip.”
“I had an assurance from the Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah, just this afternoon that golf will be receiving its fair share of funding from his ministry, but let me still appeal to him and the government for a new direction in sports policy to provide for fairness in the support of sports such as athletics, boxing, tennis and other disciplines and for the reintegration of sports into our educational system.”
For his part, Vodafone Ghana CEO, Yolanda Cuba, said their association with golf was strategic for their brand . Explaining, he said “it aligns with our capabilities and speaks directly to the audience we want to reach. Additionally, the platform has over the years carved a niche for high integrity and strong brand reputation and our brand is pleased to be a part of this”.
Adding, she said, “this tournament also offers us a perfect platform for building long and lasting business relationships with our customers in an informal setting”.
She commended the Asantehene for his unparalleled contribution to the success of their business operations and his leadership skills which she said was a forbearer in development, education and sports. “ His passion for physical fitness and healthy living are also great values that we very much identify with.” she noted.
On the tournament itself, the host club’s Kwabena Poku won the men’s Scratch event after recording 297 scores over 72 holes, while Maxwell O. Bonsu, also from the Royal Golf Club, Achimota’s Alfred Kwame finished second and third with 299 and 307 scores respectively.
Constance Awuni of the Royal Golf Club, dominated the ladies Scratch event with 158 score, beating Club mate, Felicity Okyei-Gyeabour by five strokes, who also beat Jessica Tei of the Achimota Golf Club by seven strokes.
Tema’s Vincent Torgah won the pros event with a 279 score over 72 holes, while Israel Dogbe finished first in the men’s Handicap event with 139 score over 36 holes.
Juddy Gyimah-Bota picked the ladies Handicap version with an 80 score, while Paul Dwomoh (68), won the men’s support category. Antoinette Ollenu of Achimota picked the ladies support prize after a 71 score over 18 holes. George Basonege from Obuasi left the club as the Pro-Am winner with 71 score.
The chairman of the five-member management team of the club said, “this open championship was instituted six decades ago primarily to foster friendship and also deepen already existing relationships in our fraternity. Previous events have attracted golfers from all over Ghana and beyond, including Togo, Nigeria, Cote d’lvoire and Sierra Leone.
The event was supported by Cal Bank, Stanbic Bank, Everpure, Guinness, DDP Outdoor, Mechanical Lloyd, StarTimes TV, Starbow Airlines Ghana Union Assurance and University Printing Press, Kumasi.