Rachael Danjuma

Nigeria’s Rachael Danjuma has expressed disappointment over her inability to reclaim her title at the just concluded 21st IBB Ladies Golf Open in Abuja.

Evah Magala of Uganda on Sunday emerged champion of the 2019 IBB Ladies Golf Championship in Abuja after returning a total of 244 gross strokes in the 54-hole tournament.

The three-day gross championship which is in its 21st edition, teed off at the IBB International Golf and Country Club on Friday and ended on Sunday.

No fewer than 160 amateur lady golfers from seven countries, namely Sweden, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Botswana, Ghana and hosts Nigeria, started the tourney for top honours at the championship.

Danjuma told NAN that she had started the tournament with high hopes and optimism of reclaiming her title, adding, however, that she was gutted at her performance, especially on the final day.

Danjuma lost her title to Tanzania’s top female golfer Angel Eaton in 2018 after the later had returned a total of 228 gross strokes in the 54-hole tournament.

“I was fully confident that I was going to get the trophy today but unfortunately luck was not on my side. So, I had to just let go toward the end and fight for second position.

“I had an issue in hole two after I hit a drive from the tee-box which hid itself under the tree.

“I wasn’t expecting the ball to go that far and afterwards I lost my rhythm as I didn’t find enough space to drop the ball.

“So, I was left with no option than to play it out which turned out bad for me as I ended up playing six under par, while my closet rival (Magala) ended up playing four under par in that particular hole.

“Then in hole six, I don’t know what went wrong but I missed my ball, which was my second shot by the edge of the hazard.

“There was no place to hit the ball so I had to manage the situation and ended up playing six again, while Magala played four and that was how she took the lead and never surrendered it from then on,” she said.

She, however, expressed gratitude to God for finishing second, adding that only God knows what was best for her.

“I can’t say I am totally disappointed because God knows best why things happened the way they did and I am grateful to Him.

“My compatriot Amina (Wilfred), also tried her best to win the top prize as I was expecting her at some point to push Magala all the way when it was obvious I had lost ground.

“But from all indications, luck wasn’t on her side either as the Ugandan ensured that she increased the gap between her and Amina which made it difficult for her to catch,” she said.

The 2017 champion, however, expressed disappointment that she would miss out of the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) this year, adding that the points she amassed weren’t good enough to earn her a spot in the WAGR.