Emotions, talent soar as new era dawns

Johan Kammerstad, Brendan Lawlor, Ashley Harris, Christian Hamilton
Johan Kammerstad, Brendan Lawlor, Ashley Harris and national inclusion manager Christian Hamilton

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Amid a heady combination of awe, nerves and energy, the Australian All Abilities Championship broke new ground at The Lakes today.

The world-first championship, presented by ISPS Handa, has brought golfers with disability into the mainstream of world golf for the first time, being played concurrently with the Australian Open in Sydney this week.

Generous galleries surrounded the first and tenth tees as 12 golfers who, by and large, thought such an occasion would never materialise.

That obviously created nerves, but they were soon blown away – as were the crowds with the ball-striking prowess of these immensely talented athletes.

It’s early days in the 54-hole event, but bearded Swede Johan Kammerstad is the early leader, making a birdie on the 12th hole to sit one under.

Among those in hot pursuit ae Ireland’s Brendan Lawlor and German Timo Klischan, while Australians Geoff Nicholas and Mike Rolls are well within reach.

Surprisingly, Frenchman Charles Henri Quelin and Spaniard Juan Postigo, world Nos.1 and 2 respectively, have dropped off the early pace at seven and nine over through six holes on the more difficult front nine.

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Australian Open
Pos.CountryPlayer TotalToday
1 MEX A.Ancer -16-3
2 AUS D.Papadatos -11-5
3 AUS J.McLeod -10-6
4 AUS M.Fraser -9-2
T5 AUS D.Micheluzzi -8-3