The 20-year Nigerian golfer Georgia Oboh is a rising star on the Ladies European Tour (LET), winning her first professional tournament at the Cote D’Ivoire Open in 2019. Growing up in London, Georgia started playing golf at the age of five after watching her parents play regularly.
Georgia has won several youth tournaments, including the US Kids Teen Championships in 2015, which made her the first Nigerian ever to win the competition. In 2018, she took part in the Youth Olympics in Bueno Aires, Argentina, and was also Nigeria’s flag bearer. As you can see, Georgia Oboh means a lot to the country of Nigeria, as not just anyone can become the flag bearer for their country on the Olympic level.
In 2020, Georgia Oboh secured one of the final two invitations for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open between August 13 and 16 at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, as professional women’s golf returned to Scotland for the first time since the 2019 Solheim Cup. The second slot went to Scotland’s highest-ranked player on the Rolex Rankings, Gemma Dryburgh.
How Did Oboh Get Into the Tournament?
Georgia Oboh is the first Nigerian golfer to win her card on the Ladies European Tour. She berthed the tournament as an invitee of the tournament’s sponsor, Aberdeen Standard Investments, for the accolades she has received in her short professional career. She was also selected to provide inspiration and opportunities for the next generation of talented women to participate in events of this stature.
“I am really grateful to receive this invitation into such an important event on the LET and LPGA Tours. I have been working very hard to be ready to play amongst so many of the world’s best players, and I think it will give me invaluable experience as I work towards achieving my dream of being the first Nigerian to win on the professional golf circuit,” Oboh said.
“I want to show that Africans can compete in sports usually dominated by other countries,” she explains. “These are all just building blocks for juniors to look up to. Being a role model for Nigerians and Africans is one of my goals as a professional golfer. It is not just about me being successful, it is also about helping grow the next generation following me. Having a role model really helps with motivation.”
Oboh’s own role model was Lorena Ochoa, after an encounter at the 2009 Women’s Open. “She spotted me in the crowd and threw me a golf ball. That’s when I knew was going to be No 1 in the world.” Oboh is now serving as the role model to all of her country, especially fellow women golfers who want to follow in her footsteps.
Who Did Georgia Oboh Compete Against?
The field for the 2020 event was even stronger than the previous year with three of the world’s top ten ranked players on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings in the field – Japan’s Nasa Hataoka, (No.4) America’s Danielle Kang (No.5) and Australia’s Minjee Lee. (No.8) There were 22 players ranked within the World’s Top 50, seven of the top 10 players currently leading the LPGA Race to CME, and all of the top 20 on the final 2019 LET Order of Merit.
The other two tournament invitations were awarded to Japan’s Hinako Shibuno, the AIG Women’s Open’s defending Champion, and Scotland’s Catriona Matthew, a two-time winner of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open in 2011 and 2013 and a Women’s British Open winner in 2009.
HAVING SPENT MOST OF HER ADOLESCENCE IN ENGLAND, OBOH COULD HAVE PLAYED UNDER THE BRITISH FLAG. INSTEAD, SHE REMAINED TRUE TO HER NIGERIAN HERITAGE.
In a 2020 interview with the Guardian, Oboh said: “Culturally, we are strong Nigerians. As I got older, I really started to connect back with the country. I see the differences I can make in representing Nigeria. It would have been an easy choice to play for England or Great Britain, but nothing comes easy. I feel Nigerian at heart, it is in my blood. That’s never going to change. It is part of who I am. I am a Nigerian first and foremost, we don’t shy away from our roots.”