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African Golfers Again Fail to Show for Qualifying

SANDWICH, England -- Ten golfers from Nigeria and four from Ghana failed to show for British Open qualifying this week, but organizers believe it is not a repeat of last year's visa scandal.
Before last year's championship at Muirfield, 47 Nigerians paid their $160 entry fees and then didn't arrive for qualifying. British government officials suspected they used the championship as a way of illegally obtaining visas.
This time, organizers have toughened the qualifying procedure and think the 14 players simply found it too expensive to come.
'There can be lots of reasons for their nonappearance,' Rhodri Price of the Royal & Ancient Club said. 'They have left it late to apply for their visas, had trouble getting flights or not had the cash to make the trip.'
One Nigerian who made the journey, David Waziri, carded a 10-over 82 at Hadley Wood outside London and failed to make the main qualifying round.
'It was a lot more difficult for some other players to get visas this time because of the scandal last year,' he said. 'I didn't have a problem, but the embassy were a lot stricter and were taking time to hand out visas.'
Doh Missewou, the first player from Togo to take part, shot an 86 after losing his wallet containing $1,020 on the way to the course.
'This is only my second time playing on grass. There is only one course in my home country and it's brown,' he said, referring to some African courses that are a mixture of rolled sand and oil. 'But I would love to try again next year.'
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