Date: November 17, 2018
Author: Mark Hayes

Juan’s courage powers Jack’s big dream

Jack Roche wants to win the Australian Open one day.

That, by itself, doesn’t make the 14-year-old Balgowlah Golf Club member special.

But what will, should he achieve his lofty goal, is that his story will have been inspired by an extraordinary source.

Roche’s imagination has been piqued by Spaniard Juan Postigo, the one-legged European champion who has become something of a pin-up for the inaugural Australian All Abilities Championship, presented by ISPS Handa, in Sydney this week.

And in two days of watching the world’s best golfers with a disability, Roche has anointed Postigo his hero, almost singlehandedly highlighting the value of the world-first tournament.

That bond was unbreakably strengthened after the world No.2’s round today when he signed and presented Roche with his glove, just as those of the PGA Tour professionals were sought by other eager young spectators.

The sparkle in the youngster’s eye was as dazzling as the golf he’d just witnessed.

“I was watching Juan play and I’m just amazed how he did it,” Roche said after the Spaniard’s ultra-impressive 78.

“For him to be able to play with one leg was just amazing to watch.

“I got (defending Open champion) Cam Davis’ ball and I was stoke about that.

“But when I got Juan’s glove, it made my day because I love watching him play and how he got around the course on crutches.

“It inspired me, definitely inspired me.”

Roche, already an 11 handicapper, said his memories of Postigo would help him in his quest to become a professional golfer.

“I think I’ll concentrate harder, maybe get through tough times even if I’m feeling down, just to think about how he gets through probably much tougher times.

“Using one leg to get around the course is amazing, so I feel it will help with my golf because he just shows if you try and try and never give up, you can do anything.”