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Twelve of the world’s leading golfers with a disability from seven different countries will compete in the ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup, which will be contested 23-24 November immediately following second and third-round play of the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf at The Metropolitan Golf Club.
The ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup will showcase golf’s inclusive design with players sharing the same test as the very best of professional golfers participating in the World Cup. The ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup will mirror the World Cup format on the same tees and same course conditions.
The 36-hole invitational competition will be golf’s opportunity to showcase the world’s leading players with a disability (R4GD). The R4GD is a pan disability ranking system shared by 28 countries including Golf Australia.
The ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup contestants will play in three groups of four, at 10-minute intervals, following play. Approximate times:
Friday 23 November 1:10 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Saturday 24 November 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
The 12 golfers will include six golfers from Australia and six golfers from the rest of the world:
Mike Rolls - Australia Ranked 14th in the R4GD and the current Victorian Amputee Open winner. Mike Rolls, whose ambition is to inspire others to take up the game, dedicates his resurgence with the game of golf through his father Ian, after dealing with multiple limb loss through contracting 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.
Career Highlights: • Current Victorian Amputee Open Winner • 3rd – 2014 World Disabled Golf Championships Teams event
Juan Postigo Arce – Spain Juan Postigo Arce started playing golf at the age of 12 guided by his grandad. Outside of golf, he also practices sky and sailing. He is a big fan of Seve Ballesteros and his legacy. Career Highlights: • Four times Spanish Disabled Champion • Japan Disabled Champion 2017 • Two times European Disabled Champion
Brendan Lawlor – Ireland Brendan Lawlor started golf very late in life and never thought he would have the power to play the game. He entered into the game through pitch and putt / par 3 golf. He won two all Ireland’s at adult grade when he was 16 and 17. He then moved to golf and now plays off a handicap of 1.5. Career Highlights: • Winner 2018 EDGA Czech Masters
Shane Luke – Australia Shane Luke’s father introduced him to golf when he was 10 years old. He was into all sports until he lost his leg at age 15 to bone cancer. He still returned back to golf and used golf as his rehabilitation for life. Career Highlights: • 9 times Australian amputee open champion • 2014 leading amputee golfer world championship japan. • 2014 winner World Cup team’s championships
Ashley Harris – England Growing up, golf had been part of Ashley Harris’ life since his grandfather introduced him to the game as a teenager. Golf became a passion, something that he thought could perhaps become a career. After a one-off caddying job at the Welsh Open at Celtic Manor, he started to have pain in his knee, which soon turned into a rendezvous with the operating table for keyhole surgery. It was then doctors found evidence of Rheumatoid Arthritis in his knee, which eventually would spread to the other joints in his body. Career Highlights: • Current British Disabled Golf Champion
Timo Klischan – Germany Timo Klischan doesn’t let his brachial plexus palsy can`t stop him. He loves working out, practicing and competing. Before switching to golf, he used to play field and indoor hockey as a goalkeeper up to the third German division. But now he is completely infected by the golf virus and says Australia is a lifetime experience! Career Highlights: • Representing the European Disabled Golf Association in Australia • 8th place in European Ranking for Golfers with Disability • Winner of the Finnish Disabled Open 2018
Adem Wahbi - Belgium Adem Wahbi is from a family of tennis enthusiasts, but running around the court with a leg condition was not so easy for him. Luckily he saw golf for the first time while on holiday in Morocco in a simulator in the basement of a hotel near his home Rhode-Saint-Genèse. Soon he found a golf course nearby, Golf 7 fontaines, where he could start to develop the formative skills which over the intervening years he has finely tuned. Career Highlights: • Winner 2015 EDGA Portugal Open
Manuel De Los Santos – Dominican Republic Manuel de los Santos is one of sport's most inspirational figures. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, he played baseball from a young age and by 2003 was planning to turn professional. But a motorcycle accident changed his life forever when he lost his left leg above the knee. Following this accident, he moved to France and on seeing the film, ‘The Legend of Bagger Vance’, he was inspired to take up golf. Career Highlights: • Two Time European Individual Champion • Turning Professional – European Challenge Tour 2017
Stephen Prior – Australia Stephen Prior started golf at the age of 10 following his dad around the course with only a 7-iron to play with as he was left handed and his dad was right. While at school he focussed on Australian Rules Football and Tennis. After losing his hand at 17 years old, golf raced up to his No. 1 sport with the fairness and competitiveness allowed from the handicap system. Career Highlights: • Three time Australian Amputee Open Winner • Nine times NSW Amputee Open Winner • Top 10 Finishes in the US, British and Canadian Amputee Opens
Geoff Nicholas – Australia Golf was the first sport Geoff Nicholas ever played, taking it up at the age of 14 - a year after his leg was amputated. At age 27 he played in his first tournament; the US Amputee Open and came second. He returned the next year and won and continued to win for 11 straight years. Career Highlights: • Member of PGA Australia - Tour member • Played in Australian Open twice and made cut at The Australian in ‘96 • Played NZ Open twice and made cut on both occasions • 12 time winner of both US and British Amputee Opens
Cameron Pollard - Australia Cameron Pollard won this year’s club championships at Sawtell and is now an accredited community instructor for My schools and Swingfit program, and recently played in his first Pro-am event in QLD. He is working towards making a career out of golf. Cameron is the current Special Olympics National Games Champion from this year’s National Games in Adelaide. Career Highlights: • Winning the 2018 Sawtell Club Championships • Competing in the 2018 Special Olympics National Games for the NSW golf team and having the overall best gross score over 54 holes • Competing in the 2016 Special Olympics Macau Golf Masters for the Australian team
Tony Coates - Australia Tony Coates started playing golf after being electrocuted (22,000 volts). After getting out of hospital his brother took him to an oval to hit some balls. Coates wasn't sure he would be able to but gave it a go and hit some OK. After additional practice Coates joined a club and won the "C" grade championship in the first 6 months. Career Highlights: • Runner up Australian Amputee Open 2015 • Australian Amputee Open Veteran's champion 2018 • Northern Tasmanian Veteran's Golf Association 4 ball champion 2014-2015-2016
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