Iyeneobong Essien is a fast-rising golf star who at just 13-years of age has more medals than she can count.
Iyene, as she is fondly called, is one teenager who is seeking to put Nigeria’s name on the map in the world of golf.
She has competed on three continents and currently tops the junior player cader in Nigeria,
Poised to win the nation’s first gold medal for golf at the 2022 Summer Youth Olympics, Iyene says the prospects are exciting and challenging.
For Iyene, it took the close observation of a father to see that her talent begins to manifest.
Mr Eyo Essien saw how excited his daughter was after she saw a young white boy playing at the IBB International Golf and Country Club in Abuja, and decided he would consolidate on the interest that had been kindled.
He arranged to get her on a course, bought her the necessary gears and had her receive proper training.
The proud father is optimistic about his daughter’s future, the consultant economist believes is little girl is just getting started.
“She still has some room for growth and I think as I said by the age of 15 she will be ripe, you know, to take the golf world by storm,” Mr Essien told Reuters.
Iyene won her first medal at five and has added at least sixteen more to her coffers.
She has represented Nigeria 11 times at tournaments in Africa, Europe, and the United States.
The 13-year-old was the only teenager among 177 golfers at the 2019 Nigeria Ladies Golf Open Championship where she clinched the 10th place.