Georgia Oboh: Nigeria’s first Women European Tour participant
“To see somebody who regarded like me taking part in at such a high degree and remains to be doing so now was fairly inspirational,” she instructed CNN Sport.
“For Naomi Osaka, she’s a part of the brand new technology of tennis stars and top-level athletes. I simply actually join along with her within the sense that we’re attempting to interrupt by means of in all sports activities.”
Similar to Williams and Osaka, Oboh was a teenage prodigy.
Incomes her place on the Women European Tour (LET) aged simply 17, Oboh grew to become the primary Nigerian to qualify for the tour.
Now, she desires to qualify for an Olympic Video games and turn into the most effective golfer on this planet.
“Being No. 1 on this planet is a long-term aim,” she stated. “I feel within the quick time period, actually I’d be wanting ahead to probably taking part in one or two majors even this yr, enhance my rankings and ultimately play on the LPGA Tour.”
Path to the highest
Georgia was born within the northern English metropolis of Manchester, and her mother and father performed a key position in her selecting up golf at an early age.
Her father was launched to the sport by his grandmother. He then obtained his spouse taking part in, and it wasn’t lengthy earlier than six-year-old Georgia was wielding her first golf membership.
She moved round, taking part in at completely different golf golf equipment and selecting up new abilities and experiences, which she believes has held her in good stead on her journey to changing into knowledgeable.
“I ended up competing with ladies and boys,” the 20-year-old remembers.
“And ultimately, I began to play the US Children European Championship after which the US Children World Championship, which I received at age 14, after which I performed most of my junior golf, to be trustworthy, in America.
“So I spent plenty of my summers and winters overseas. And I prefer to suppose I had a broad vary of expertise taking part in golf in several international locations and in several climate.”
Oboh’s last look as an novice golfer got here on the age of 17 when she traveled to Buenos Aires in Argentina for the Youth Olympic Video games in 2018, ending tied for twenty second place.
After a profitable junior profession, through which she received quite a few trophies, Oboh entered into qualifying faculty for the LET. After making it by means of the pre-qualifier, she had a nervy wait on the ultimate day of the particular occasion to earn her skilled card.
“On the final gap, I had a par putt that will have put me on the knife’s edge,” she remembers.
“I made that last putt, after which it was sort of a ready recreation to see whether or not I used to be going to make the minimize or not. So it went all the way down to final photographs of a few of the different gamers however, on the finish of the day, I used to be in a position to make the minimize and get my card ultimately.”
Oboh turned skilled in November 2018 and now hopes to seem in a single or two majors this yr in addition to “bettering my standing and constructing my foundations up.”
Rising the sport
“My predominant concern was taking part in the most effective I might,” stated Oboh as she mirrored on the problem of variety in golf. “I have been to international locations all around the world. However I do not try to let issues like the colour of my pores and skin or my gender cease me from attending to the place I have to or need to be.”
Whereas golf is a part of the tradition in lots of corners of the world, in Africa — outdoors of South Africa — it is nonetheless a sport that’s new to the continent.
South Africa has produced profitable skills resembling main winners Ernie Els, Gary Participant, Retief Goosen, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oostuizen on the lads’s aspect and Sally Little on the ladies’s aspect.
However as a consequence of an absence of “funding and improvement” on the junior ranges of golf, different African international locations haven’t been in a position to produce golfers of the identical caliber.
Oboh had the selection of representing the UK however selected Nigeria as a substitute as a consequence of its connection to her heritage. She says her house course is the Ikoyi Membership 1938 in Lagos, the industrial capital of Nigeria, and has received a number of awards within the nation. She even received her first professional match in her skilled debut on the Cote D’Ivoire Open.
As the primary Nigerian to play on the LET, Oboh is conscious that her accomplishment of reaching the Tour is “an achievement.”
However she is hoping that she will be an instance for others, reasonably than a flash within the pan for Nigerian golf.
“I do not need to be the final Nigerian. We do have some ladies within the wings, preparing in in all probability 5 to seven years,” she stated.
“So hopefully by then, it’s going to be a unique story. However simply to have the ability to obtain Tour membership is in itself an achievement. And I do not take a look at myself as the primary to do that, the primary to do this. Sure, I will put it on the record of achievements, however I’ve set my objectives to the following technology.”