Thompson, Inalegwu battle on as Danes top chart after first round

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The World Amateur Golf Championship is a competition set up to help young players gauge their level of development by pitting their skills against their peers from across the world.

This year at the championship holding at the Carton House, in Maynooth, near Dublin, Ireland, Nigeria is being represented by two of the country’s finest young lads, Jordan Thompson and George Inalegwu… and anybody, who felt the boys would be overawed by their environment and the caliber of opposition at the elite amateur champion, is in for a pleasant surprise. Thompson and Inalegwu have shown that given a little push, the Nigerian talent would come to the fore in international settings.

The country was supposed to feature both boys and girls teams, but the duo of Georgia Oboh and Anita Uwadiae could not make the event due to ‘sponsorship issues.’

Sad as the girls’ lost opportunity is, the boys have put up an outstanding show to remind the powers that be that if things were done right, the country would always excel no matter the opposition.

The World Amateur Golf Championship is the most prestigious amateur championship in golf. It is conducted by the International Golf Federation (IGF) biennially and rotates among three geographic zones of the world: Asia-Pacific, Americas and Europe-Africa.

Each team has two or three players, who each play 18 holes of stroke play over four days. In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day (72-hole) total is the team’s score for the championship.

On Wednesday on the greens of the Montgomerie Course at Carton House, Thompson and Inalegwu put up an outstanding performance to end the first round on a combined 161 score, which put them at par with Lithuania in 67th position on the log.

Leading the log after the first round is Denmark, Ireland is second, while India and Switzerland (who each started on the O’Meara) share the third spot on 137.

Japan’s Keita Nakajima was forced to withdraw, leaving his team with no room for manoeuvre; and Takumi Kanaya and Daiki Imano managed to produce a total of 137 to lie in fifth.

Pre-championship favourites USA – with three players inside the world’s top-seven – opened with a 140 (four-under) to lie in tied-19th, eight shots behind the Danes. “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. The USA is going to be heard from. We are not done,” said team captain Tom O’Toole Jnr.

Such can also be said of Nigeria as the competition enters the home stretch today.

The Amateur Championship is one of the competitions Thompson is using to prepare for the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina, where he and Georgia Oboh are Nigeria’s representatives in the golf event.

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