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Sierra Leone Sports: Tongah wins second Salone Open Golf Championship

Vincent Tongah receiving the trophyGhanaian professional golfer Vincent Tongah was declared winner of the 2017 Salone Open Championship for the second consecutive season organized by Freetown Golf Club at their course situated at Lumley beach in Freetown.
A total of 31 professionals including 19 Sierra Leoneans participated in the competition. Out of 31, the worst 10 golfers was dropped out of the race and the remaining 21 golfers played over the 18 holes in the last two days of the tournament which was dominated by foreign professional golfers who occupied the first four positions.
Fighting to regain his title, after getting off to a bad start on day one, Tongah wrapped up with a spectacular 67 on day 4 for a total gross score of 279 or 5-under par and beat second place winner Gift Willy from Nigeria by 5 strokes.
Nigerian Gift Willy on the other hand hit 76 on the final day scoring total gross 284 E, while fellow countryman, Oche Andrew Odoh scored 285+1 over leading Cameroonian Nlareb Issa in fourth position with gross 288 +4 over.
Despite the disappointing result for the host nation, Idrissa was the only Sierra Leonean who made the top five finishing on fifth position with a total gross score of 289 +5 over.
Zimbabwean Visitor Mapwanya lays 6th place with gross 290 +6 over, followed by Samba Papi Niang from Senegal who scored gross 291 +7 to position himself on 7th place, Sierra Leone’s incredible amateur golfer, Alimamy Kargbo, breaks into the rank with gross 293 +9 over in 8th position, and close to him was Mustapha A. Kamara on 9th place with total gross score 295 +11. And on tenth position (T10) was Ivorian Romaric Djedou and Sierra Leone amateur Abu Kanu both scored gross 296 +12 over.
Unfortunately Sierra Leone top rated professional golfer, Paul Kargbo, who finished in 2nd position in the past three tourneys consecutively, was nowhere to be found within the top 10 as he scored gross 299 +15 to sit on the 12th position.
The Champion, Vincent Tongah, said he was honoured to have won the tournament consecutively in the midst of other highly rated golfers within West Africa and Southern Africa. Informing, he was challenged by the other competitors especially the two Nigerians, Gift Willie and Oche Andrew Odoh, who gave him a tough time on the course since day one.
“I knew I would be the man to beat, so the pressure was on me. But I kept working on my game to achieve my goal of defending my title. I have a very good set caddies around me who scarified a lot for me to once again lift the trophy. I must say a big thanks to them for the good work,” said Tongah.
Before his arrival in Sierra Leone for the tourney, Tongah won the Senegal open and he will be in Abidjan for the Ivory Coast open this week before returning to Ghana.
Second place winner, Gift Willy asserted that the competition was very tight; everyone was trying to protect himself to ensure they get to the podium at the end. But Tongah used his final strategy well to win it all.
Willy stated, “He is playing exceptional golf in the sub region. He is a fine golfer, we know him very well. But he was luck I lost my game on the 17th hole. But I’m sure I will do more than this to win the title next year so Tongah should prepare for me”.
The champion returned home with $10,000, runners up $5000 and all the first 21 finishers received token. The total prize money sum up to $25,00
Tuesday November 28, 2017.

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