By JACK AMI
THE Prime Minister’s Corporate Golf Challenge tees off 10am today at the Royal Port Moresby Golf Club with 46 teams out to win Team PNG’s second largest fundraising event.
Individual competitors would also be eyeing the ‘Hole in One’ prize at the 18th, a brand new Toyota Hilux donated by Ela Motors.
The top three prizes are donated by Air Niugini and include a return ticket for four to Sydney for the winners.
The second prize a return ticket for four to Brisbane and the third prize a return ticket for four to Cairns.
The fourth prize is accommodation for four at any Coral Sea Hotel in PNG.
The National, who has been a co-sponsor over the last five years, has supplied the apparel for the organisers and teams as well promoted the event through advertising.
The event’s main aim is to assist the PNG Olympic Committee in its fundraising drive to send the national team to next year’s Pacific Games in Samoa.
With each team paying K3000 to register for the event, the PNGOC expects to make K138,000 which will help them send a large contingent — PNG is set to compete in all 28 sports at the 2019 Pacific Games — to Apia as they look to finish on top of the medal tally for the first time at a Games outside the country.
The four-player ambrose will see 184 golfers playing for teams from the corporate sector as well as government organisations. The field of 46 teams is sizable increase from last year which saw 30 sides take part and organisers PNGOC and the Royal Port Moresby Golf Club have been buoyed by the interest shown.
With overcast skies and light rain in the nation’s capital throughout the week, a wet surface today is likely to open up the competition.
Defending champions Mineral Resources Development Company have retained their winning team led by Lucas Komane, who has a seven handicap, and includes Kevin Wapa, George Danny and Ali Poka.
Team leader Komane said his team were just happy to be reunited for the event and added they were excited to be competing against a larger field which would make the event more interesting.
Komane said he was expecting last year’s runners-up Southern Cross to be among the leaders throughout the day.
“There are 45 teams competing and that’s a really big field which should make things interesting and hopefully the weather allows us to play,” Komane said. PNGOC secretary-general Auvita Rapilla thanked the corporate community for being part of the event.
“We enjoy the competition shown among the teams and we are looking forward to seeing some thrilling shots on the green tomorrow,” Rapilla said.
“The tournament is a fundraising event for the PNG Olympic Committee and draws great support from the corporate community every year.”
The PNG Prime Minister is the patron of the event and on occasion has participated himself. Last year, Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel teed off the event on behalf of PM Peter O’Neill.
Team PNG’s vision for the 2019 Pacific Games is to create history by winning the Pacific Games onforeign soil for the first time.
“We want to send a big team to Samoa so we aim to raise as much money as we can, and the support from the teams and our partners is very important to our cause,” Rapilla said.
Rapilla acknowledged the Prime Minister for his patronage of the event.
By JACK AMI