Date: October 23, 2018
Author: Golf Australia

Another Aussie coup for golfers with disability

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Australia's role as a trailblazer for golfers with a disability has been further enhanced with the announcment of a new event as part of the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf.

One week after the inaugural Australian All Abilities Championship as part of the Emirates Australian Open at The Lakes in Sydney, the ISPS Handa Disabled Golf Cup will be staged at Metropolitan in Melbourne.

The US PGA Tour has formally announced that 12 of the world’s leading golfers with a disability from seven different countries will compete at Metro on 23-24 November, immediately following the second and third rounds of hte World Cup.

Just as the AAAC a week earlier, the event will showcase golf’s inclusive nature with players facing the same test as the elite professional golfers participating in the World Cup, miroring the format and using the same tees, but played over 36 holes.

The invitational field is based primarily on the Rankings for Golfers with a Disability (R4GD), a pan-disability system shared by 28 countries, including Golf Australia.

"We're proud to host the world’s top golfers with a disability as they test their skills against one another," said Melbourne World Cup of Golf executive director Robyn Cooper.

"A special opportunity awaits these athletes to compete on a global scale in front of the top professionals in the game while playing under pristine conditions at The Metropolitan Golf Club. It will undoubtedly prove to be an inspiring and memorable two days for all involved."

ISPS Handa has been a leading voice in gathering support for the inclusion of disabled golf in the Paralympics, an initiative supported by Golf Australia, the US PGA TOUR and International Federation of PGA Tours, including the Australasian PGA Tour.

To continue to raise awareness of this initiative, ISPS Handa will also host blind and disabled golf exhibitions at the 2019 Presidents Cup and the 2019 and 2020 Tournament of Champions.

"As we welcome the world’s top golfers with a disability to Melbourne, the ‘power of sport’ will be on full display as they represent their country with pride in this inspirational competition,” said Dr Haruhisa Handa, founder and chairman of ISPS Handa.

"There’s no better stage to celebrate these athletes and their abilities than the ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf, and we wish them luck as they continue to be a model of hope and inspiration for people around the world."

The 12-strong field will include six Australian golfers and six from the rest of the world.

Among them will be Melbourne’s Mike Rolls, ranked 14th on the R4GD and reigning Victorian Amputee Open champ.

Rolls, whose ambition is to inspire others to take up the game after he and his father Ian used the sport to deal with his multiple limb loss through meningococcal septicaemia at a young age.

"I think this is probably the most excited I’ve ever been for a golf event," Rolls said.

"It’s not just excitement about competing, it’s excitement about where the game is headed in the inclusive space and I think that is going to provide so much hope.

"It’s going to provide concrete pathways for people with a disability to take their love of golf, or to develop a love of golf and take it a long way into the future.

"There’s never been anything which is standalone identifying people that have been through a wide variety of adversity and to be able to showcase, not only what they’ve been able to overcome, but how they’ve been able to focus that energy and focus and determination and drive into a sport that is really, really difficult for people with two arms and two legs and no physical ailments.

"I think that’s where the impressive side of it comes for me."

Others planning to tee it up at Metro include Australian Geoff Nicholas, a legend of amputee and disabled golf who dominated the sport internationally in the 1990s and 2000s and earned the reputation as one of its true luminaries.

Nicholas, the 12-time world amputee champion, has competed on the Australasian Tour against the likes of Greg Norman and Tiger Woods.


See below for the list of participants:


Juan Postigo Arce


Leg Amputee


Brendan Lawlor


Ellis-van Creveld Syndrome


Shane Luke


Leg Amputee


Ashley Harris


Rheumatoid Arthritis


Timo Klischan


Brachial Plexus Palsy


Adem Wahbi


Cerebral Palsy


Manuel De Los Santos


Leg Amputee


Stephen Prior


Arm Amputee


Mike Rolls


Bi-Lateral Amputee (Leg)


Geoff Nicholas


Leg Amputee


Tony Coates


Arm Amputee


Cameron Pollard



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