Nigerian teenage golf sensation, Georgia Oboh would be the cynosure of all eyes as the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG), tagged Buenos Aires 2018 gets underway today in faraway Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Oboh is one of the 17 Nigeria’s flag bearers to the global multi-sporting events following a wildcard awarded to her to compete at the games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The wildcard was made possible following the concerted efforts by the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) and the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC).
The US based teen golf sensation made history recently when she became the first Nigerian to feature in the Ladies European Tour (LET), which teed off at the prestigious Dar es Salaam Blue Course in Rabat, Morocco.
The 17-year-old Oboh was the youngest player to feature in the LET event tagged Lalla Meryem Cup. As an amateur, Oboh did not get a share of the 450,000 Euro tournament purse, but the event served as great preparation for her quest to conquer the rest of the world at the Buenos Aires 2018 and put Nigeria in the map of the best golf playing nations of the world.
Oboh captained the Nigeria girls’ team to the last All Africa Junior Challenge in Morocco, where her performance prompted the organisers to invite her to the LET event. Oboh said on the eve of her departure for Morocco that her primary goal was to learn a thing or two from the lady professionals, while honing her own skills.
The 17-year old Nigerian golf sensation, who recently finished in the fifth position at the 2018 US Teen World Championship held at the Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in North Carolina, United States, wants to go a step further by winning a medal in her maiden Olympics outing.
Shortly before moving to Ireland for the World Amateur Championships, Oboh said her ambition was to become the best in the game, adding that with more support she would put Nigeria in the map of the best golf playing nations of the world.
After Ireland, she said she would intensify her training to be in top shape for the Olympics, adding, however, that she is being hampered by poor resources.
The former US Kids World Champion, born in England to Nigerian parents, currently attends high school in Florida and has travelled the world, compiling impressive results along the way. That result includes winning the 2015 U.S. Kids World Championship at Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club in Pinehurst, N.C.
Golf is a family affair for Oboh, who is joined this week by her parents Godfrey and Evelyn, both of whom reside in Manchester, England. Her grandparents, Godwin and Mary are also at Poppy Hills.
Oboh, who has registered holes-in-one in London, Wales, Nigeria and Florida, is doing her part by finally qualifying for the U.S. Girls’ Championship after four previous attempts. Oboh is just the second player of Nigerian heritage to play in USGA championship.
The golf starling made her first cut in a professional event in the Florida Women’s Open at the Quail Creek Country Club in Naples on August, where she finished 32nd in a total field of 120 top amateurs and lady professionals in the tournament.
To the 17 year old, golf is a family affair, her love for golf emanated from seeing her parents playing the sport and soon she became good at it, in her own words;
“My parents began playing golf when I was four years old; I started taking lessons when I was six. A few months later, I began competing at a local and regional level (in rain, wind or cold almost every weekend in the UK).’’ Oboh told TrueAfrica
“Starting with the British Junior Golf tour at seven, I was given the handicap of 36. I really got motivated that day to be the best player.”
“It all really took off when I was named junior golfer of the year in 2008 by the BJGT and also that year I watched the British Ladies Open with my parents and got a ball from the then ladies number-one player Lorena Ochoa. I really got motivated that day to be the best player that I can be in the sport”.
Her dexterity towards the game is showcased on how much she trains and her underscored goals while training;
“I train every other day in the gym, I practice and play golf 5-6 days a week either working on the golf practice area or the golf course.
“My goals in the gym: To be more flexible as a whole to avoid injury. To have stronger muscles, for endurance.
“My goals in the course: working on ball striking and my self-management in order to improve my scores”.
Early this year the organisers of the annual Azores Ladies Open in Portugal were impressed with the profile of Nigeria’s Georgia Oboh and they have decided to invite the golf sensation to the 8th edition of the 35,000 euro prize money tournament held at the Terceira Island Golf Club.
According to the representative of the organisers, Vero Fino, it was Georgia Oboh’s resume that fascinated them.
“Georgia Oboh is the first Nigerian to be invited because she requested an invitation and after viewing her CV, she seems to be an excellent candidate to receive an invite. We are happy to provide this invitation and look forward to welcoming her to compete alongside many up and coming young players from around the world”.
2018 has been a very good year for Oboh, who featured in five professional events, including the LPGA Nigeria, where she came second, the LET Access series in France and Switzerland, as well as the 2018 Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.