Date: October 31, 2014
Author: Golf Australia

Win for Special Olympians

than 1000 intellectually disabled athletes from every Australian state and territory descended on Melbourne to participate in the 2014 Special Olympic National Games, with 32 taking part in the golf competition.

The golf was played at Albert Park public course over three days.

The competition consisted of three levels of Special Olympic competition — level five (18 hole single stroke, level four  (9 hole single stroke) and level two (9 hole alternate shot) competition.  All levels of competition contained both male and female athletes. 

The level five event was to be competed over two consecutive days by seven men and one woman.  The level four event contained 21 athletes across three male divisions and one female division.  This level four event was contested over three consecutive days with the best two rounds taken for final results.

The alternate shot competition consisted of two male athletes who were partnered by two fine young men from St Helena High School, Mitchell Hall and Kane Ramsay, while the solo female athlete was partnered by representatives from Golf Victoria.

Day one of the competition provided the athletes with a chance to release their nerves and get down to some fine golf, it did not take long with 29 pars and two birdies being scored. Day two of competition saw the temperatures reach 30 degrees and this did have some effect on the athletes from posting some solid scores across all divisions.  Ten pars and two birdies were scored.

Day three consisted of the final round of the level four competition while the level five and level two athletes, who finished their main competition, were partnered by various external representatives for a nine-hole Ambrose competition.

The medals winners across the competition levels were as follows:

Level 5 – 18 Hole Single Stroke – Division 1 – Mixed (Handicaps 0-19)

·         Gold Medal – Steve Robson (NSW) – Gross Score 169

·         Silver Medal – Craig Read (NSW) – Gross Score 170

·         Bronze Meday – Kate Wilson (QLD) – Gross Score 187

Level 5 – 18 Hole Single Stroke – Division 2 (Handicaps 20+)

·         Gold Medal – Matt Curley (QLD) – Gross Score 196

·         Silver Medal – Jacob Jones (ACT) _ Gross Score 210

·         Bronze Medal – Wayne Wright (TAS) – Gross Score 231

·         4th Place – Matthew Bowen (TAS) – Gross Score 238

·         5th Place – Brian Clarke (SA) – Gross Scores 248

Level 4 – 9 Hole Single Stroke – Division 1 Male (Handicap 15 – 21)

·         Gold Medal – Laim Reynolds (NSW)

·         Silver Medal – Brendan Borger (QLD)

·         Bronze Medal – Chad Johnson (QLD)

·         4th Place – John Griffiths (QLD)

·         5th Place – Darren Gibson (QLD)

Level 4 – 9 Hole Single Stroke – Division 2 Male (Handicap 22 -30)

·         Gold Medal – Darren Tait (ACT)

·         Silver Medal – Jason Russo (NSW)

·         Bronze Medal – Axel Gould (QLD)

·         4th Place – Saxon Graham (NSW)

·         5th Place – Alexander Hayes (NSW)

·         6th Place – Michael Eadie (NSW)

Level 4 – 9 Hole Single Stroke – Division 3 Male (Handicap 30+)

·         Gold Medal – Jayden Wright (VIC)

·         Silver Medal – Antonio Di Crezcenzo  (ACT)

·         Bronze Medal – Dylan Price (ACT)

·         4th Place – Matthew Wheeler (NSW)

·         5th Place – Sebastian McCormick (VIC)

·         6th Place – Joe Maloney (ACT)

Level 4 – 9 Hole Single Stroke – Division 1 Female (Handicap 22+)

·         Gold Medal – Amanda Patterson (QLD)

·         Silver Medal – Tahli Hind (NSW)

·         Bronze Medal – Morgan Mills (ACT)

·         4th Place – Gabrielle Clarke (NSW)

Level 2 – 9 Hole Alternate Shot Mixed Division

·         Gold Medal – Sherrie Eadie (NSW) – Partner Tyson / Jo Charlton (Golf Vic)

·         Silver Medal – Adrian Lamb (NSW) – Partner Mitchell Hall (St Helena)

·         Bronze Medal – Rory Mulligan (NSW) – Partner: Kane Ramsay (St Helena)

Brendan Monaghan, the technical delegate for golf at the Special Olympics, said the course “provided sufficient challenges for our athletes and the feedback from them was overwhelming on its playability”. 

Monaghan was delighted with the success of the event. “The feedback I have received from athletes, their families and their coaches was that the event was an outstanding success not only for the golf but the confidence and self-esteem gained from by the athletes through their participation.  I am also sure they will remember this event for many years to come.

“The legacy we would like to achieve from these national games is that we improve to opportunities for people with a disability to participate in sport within the local communities.  For golf, we would dearly like to expand our programs throughout the country, particularly in Victoria. ‘’

Golf Australia is a partner of Special Olympics golf.