Nigeria-born golf sensation, 15-year-old Georgia Oboh, has inscribed her name in the history books, as the youngest, first African female golfer ever to be invited to compete either as an amateur or professional in the Ladies Professional Golfers Association of America (LPGA) tournament.
According to the organisers of the championship, Global Golf Management, Oboh’s invitation, as one of the two amateur golfers expected to challenge for the two slots to the main event, was based on her impressive profile in the sport.
Emily Norell of Global Golf Management said: “The Tournament decides to award an exemption into the Monday qualifier to Georgia Oboh because after reviewing her biography and statistics she shows not only determination but a bright future in the game of golf.
“If Georgia keeps up her committed attitude and spirit, she definitely has the potential to earn a scholarship to play at the collegiate level. Georgia’s determination and willingness to work hard coupled with her persistent in following up and keeping the tournament updated on her scores. We always like to see young athletes who have the potential to accomplish great things”.
Oboh, who is also the 2015 U.S. Kids Golf Teen World champion and a student of golf academy in Manchester, United Kingdom (U.K.) will take part in the qualifiers on January 23, with 48 professionals and one amateur, while the main competition takes place on January 26 to 29 at the same venue.
Georgia Oboh’s qualification to the main event will help her to inscribe another record at the tournament.
Currently, Oboh is one of the most highly rated female golfers from Africa at 15 and she was the continent’s best player at the Junior Orange Bowl International Invitational in the US and also took part in the 2016 US Women’s Open qualifier in Florida, a professional tournament with 20 professional golfers in the field. In the Women’s Amateur Championship in June 2016, Oboh had scores of 78 and 72 and was placed 13 out of 105.
Georgia Oboh started playing golf at six with encouragement from her parents.
“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).
“Starting with the British Junior Golf tour at seven, I was given the handicap of 36. But 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,” she said recently about her foray into golf.
On her dream, she said: “I would like to see myself on the LPGA Tour as an active member and to make history as the first African woman on tour and also the first Nigerian woman. Rising through the ranks, on my way to win majors and eventually hold the rank as the best female pro golfer.
“I pray that God will help me in this goal and also I hope to have great sponsors who can help. The travel and training expenses can be quite high so we are praying to get a great group of sponsors come to our aid”.