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13th Beach Golf Links, VIC

1-4 February, 2024

03 Feb 2024 | Vic Open | All Abilities |

#VicOpen: Alderson and Gribble the first round leaders in inclusive and wheelchair champs

by Patrick Taylor

Alderson blasts one out of the sand on route to an opening 68.

Webex Players Series South Australia champion Steven Alderson took advantage of the calm conditions in round one to lead the Victorian Inclusive Championship at 13th Beach Golf Links, while James Gribble had 39 stableford points to lead the Australian Wheelchair Championship. Alderson fired a 4-under 68 today on the Creek Course, the South Australian carding six birdies on his way to the round one lead. A member of Willunga Golf Club, Alderson took out the Webex event last year on his home course, and will be looking to add the Victorian Inclusive Championship trophy to his cabinet back at home. One shot back from Alderson is New South Wales champ Cam Pollard, who shot a steady 3-under 69. Playing in the opening group, Pollard got off to a self-confessed sluggish start, but bounced back quickly to keep his scores ticking along. "Got off to a pretty slow start to be honest, bogeyed the first, but then I had a eagle on the second so that sort of kickstarted me today which was nice," said Pollard. Pollard successfully defended his Webex Players Series Victoria event last week at Rosebud, and is pleased to be keeping the good forming rolling this week. "After the Cobram event, I went home and had to work on a few things in my game, and then came back and it paid off," he said of his preparation heading into Rosebud. Not far behind Alderson and Pollard is the in-form Wayne Perske, winner of the Webex Murray River event a couple of weeks ago. Perske, who has just joined the All Abilities ranks, and Pollard have been battling it out for the top spot in recent weeks, and Pollard said the challenge is good for his game. "It's really pushing me which is good. It's what I need." Gribble, who founded the not-for-profit organisation Empower Golf, had an impressive 39 points on the Creek Course today, five points ahead of second placed Stephen Lockey. Empower Golf is an organisation whose mission is to facilitate and promote golf for people living with disabilities. Defending champion Nick Taylor opened his 2024 championship with 30 points, leaving him with some work to do tomorrow to catch Gribble. SCORES

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