66th Asantehene Open Golf: Otumfuo Dines With Participants
The King of the Asante Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, hosted, dined and wined with the participants and sponsors of the 66th Asantehene Open Golf Championship over the weekend at the Lancaster Hotel in Kumasi.
The event on Saturday also witnessed the crowning and awarding of 33 winners of the various categories in the competition.
This year’s competition, described as “unprecedented” attracted international golfers from seven different countries in Africa including Ghana.
A total of 206 Ghanaians from golf clubs across Ghana also participated.
In a speech, the Chairman of the Management of Royal Golf Club, Mr Kwesi Atta Antwi said “We have indeed witnessed an international golfing event with professional and amateur players from Ghana, Nigeria, La Cote D’Ivoire, Togo, Zimbabwe, Senegal and Uganda.”
“The number of foreign participation was unprecedented in our history. 16 professional men and 13 ladies professionals from five countries. In total, 237 professionals, amateurs in different categories took part in the tournament and this is commendable,” he stated.
The King of the Asante Kingdom in his speech appreciated all the participants, the leadership of the Royal Golf Club and the sponsors.
To Vodafone, the headline sponsor, he said, “They’ve been loyal, they’ve been very supportive and they’ve been very eager to support the Royal Golf Club in terms of organising this competition and I say thank you so much for that”
He further urged golfers to abide by the rules and regulations of the game in any competition, noting, “It’s a game of honesty and integrity.”
He said he had not received reports of cheating in the just-ended competition and commended the participants.
“If you are going to play in a competition then please obey the rules and let it be fair and transparent.”
On her part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana, Mrs Patricia Obo-Nai said the Company’s association with “this prestigious tournament continues to strengthen our relationship with our valued clients, customers and Asanteman and pledged the company’s commitment to the tournament.
“Vodafone is proud to have been a sponsor of the event this year as we have been for the past four years.”
The tournament began on June 14 and ended on June 17.
About The Tournament
The Asantehene Amateur Golf Tournament known as the Asantehene Open Golf Championship was first played in 1955 in honour of the Asantehene. The first tournament was won by Mr Justice L.C. Lingley.
In the early years of the tournament, it was dominated by expatriates who at that time formed the bulk of the membership of the club and generally golfers in the country. The expatriate dominance was broken in 1963 when S. K. Appiah won the first of his seven championships.
Though S. K. Appiah successfully defended the trophy in 1964 the expatriate dominance continued until after the 1974 tournament which was won by Mr. J. C. Ryan.
Ghanaians have dominated the championship ever since. This is because of a membership drive for Ghanaian members and the gradual popularity of the game among Ghanaians all over the country.
During the prize-giving ceremony in 1999, the year Barima Kwaku Dua then enstooled as Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was presented with a set of golf clubs by Ghana Breweries Limited then the sponsors of the tournament.
In 2000, Otumfuo promised to replace the winner’s running trophy so the 2000 winner Peter Korsah of Takoradi won the trophy for keeps. The new trophy was first won by Kojo Barnni of the Royal Golf Club, Kumasi and he defended the trophy successfully in 2002.
Only five (5) golfers have successfully defended the trophy – S. K. Appiah (1963, 1964). W. Degbe (1982, 1983), Kofi Nimako (1992, 1993), James Larry (1995, 1996) and Kojo Barni (2001, 2002).
In 2009, MTN signed a 5-year title sponsorship agreement with the club. This continued until 2017 when another Telcom giant Vodafone took over the title sponsorship with an initial 5-year agreement which has since been extended for another 5 years ending in 2026.
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