A former member of the Akwa-Ibom state House of Assembly, Usenobong Akpabio, has emerged overall champion of the just concluded 6th edition of the thrilling Heineken sponsored LM Open Golf series.
The tournament took place at the prestigious Le Meridien Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort, Uyo.
The two-day tournament at the 18 holes Le Meridien Ibom Golf Course which is regarded as the most challenging golf course in West-Africa, saw 132 golfers from nine nations slug it out at the championship. The tournament has now been regarded as a must play for golfers across Nigeria and it is already attracting golfers from other countries.
Akpabio who is also a lawyer represented Urhuan constituency in the state House of Assembly for 8 years – 2003 – 2011. His foray into golf is simply enigmatic. Having played active golf for less than 2 years, Akpabio has won over 12 golf championship trophies. “I started playing active golf in November 2011. I like sports a lot. When I want to do something, I put my mind to it and go all out for it. Golf for me started out just for leisure and exercise but I found myself winning trophies. It’s really amazing”. He said.
Akpabio has represented Nigeria twice in international golf championships. He said, “I believe I am gifted that is why I have achieved so much in golf in such a short time”. He considers the BMW championship and the MTN organized championship which he won in the past as his two major championships.
This is the fourth time Akpabio would be taking part in the LM Open series. He has previously emerged tournament winner as well as runner up in his category. “It’s a great thing for me to have won this championship. This is one of the most challenging tournaments I have taken part in. I didn’t know I would emerge overall champion. But at the end of the day, I’m really glad I won”. The champion said.
Speaking at the gala night to mark the end of the two-day tournament, General Manager Consultant IMG, Ibom Golf Club, Sam Logan stressed that The LM series has raised the level of golf in Nigeria going by the continued increase of players who take part in the tournament. With only 68 golfers taking part in the first edition, this 6th edition saw 132 golfers from 9 different countries register to participate in the LM open.
On the continued partnership of the LM Open series with premium international beer brand, Heineken, Mr. Logan said, “Heineken has been strongly supportive of this championship since we started out 3 years ago. Heineken is a major sponsor of golf worldwide. I am extremely pleased with Heineken and the relationship we have with them. Heineken is the No 1 international premium lager beer brand in the world, it gives us great pleasure to be associated with such a great brand. Heineken has pledged to stay strong with us even for future championships. It is indeed a great partnership we have with the Heineken brand”.
It would be recalled that at the last edition of the tournament, Hassan Adeyemo, a soldier in the Nigerian Army, emerged tournament champion. The next edition of the event has been slated for 29th November – 1 December, 2013.