Only one player, Samuel Igyem scaled the conditions set at 11th edition of the Qualifying School conducted by the professional Golfers’ Association of Nigeria over the weekend in Jos Plateau State.
The Qualifying School is a biennial final admission procedure for amateur who wish to take up a career in professional golf.
Although, the Director of the body, Samson Lawal has said that some of those who failed the process will be invited for a make up test in six months, the Executives of the PGA has been put on the spot to explain the stand that denied most of the applicants a place in the Association.
“It is unfortunate that only one player met the conditions we set before the School commenced. And for a body that strives to uphold our integrity, we have to stand by our words.”
One of the key tests for the players is the P.A.T. (Playing Ability Test), which was set at +21 over 54 holes, with an average of +7 daily score. The PAT became the hurdle that disqualifies them.
Dominic Andrew, the chief examiner at the Q-School said it would be a discredit to the game if the PGA stoops to admit players that can’t meet basic category two amateur standard.
“I agree that it may seem unfair from the ordinary eye to have only one player admitted from this School, but we equally have a responsibility to protect the integrity of the PGA and professional golf in Nigeria. It just simply means that they haven’t prepared enough to earn PGA membership.” He said.
A lot of the players had complained that the condition, especially weather and layout of the Lamington Golf Course was tough enough to work against a player meeting the benchmark score.
One of the players who wouldn’t like to be named said he would have challenged the process in court if the PGA had not stuck to the rules it set throughout the School.
“I feel pained, I wasted money, time and other resources that I can’t put together for now. But, in fairness, what I have seen here is transparent and I have great respect for the leadership of the PGA.”
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