10 Feb 2023 | All Abilities |
Victorian Inclusive Championship sets new record
by Dane Heverin
The Victorian Inclusive Championship and the Australian Wheelchair Golf Championship will have more competitors than ever this weekend with 47 players confirmed to tee it up at 13th Beach.
The 36-hole event played on 13th Beach’s Creek Course in conjunction with the Vic Open had 25 players in action in last year’s edition and the jump in participation is a huge boost for All Abilities golf.
“It is simply sensational to see so many golfers committing to playing in this outstanding event,” said Christian Hamilton, Golf Australia’s Senior Manager – Programs & Inclusion.
“The Victorian Inclusive Championship made its debut in 2019 and the first Australian Wheelchair Golf Championship was played last year. The coming together of those two events is brilliant and it is amazing to have the numbers grow so substantially in just the second year of the tournament’s being together.
“Having these opportunities in golf really is life-changing for the players and they relish the chance to show off their skills in front of crowds.”
The event which is open to all golfers with a physical, sensory or intellectual disability is a world ranking event for golfers with disability and features some of the best Australian players.
Defending champion Steven Prior is looking to go back-to-back and he will form a strong group with Mike Rolls and Bellarine Peninsula local Shaun Bakker.
Australia’s top-ranked player, and the 2020 champion Cameron Pollard, will also be in action as he attempts to continue his recent winning streak.
Pollard, from Sawtell Golf Club near Coffs Harbour, triumphed in the All Abilities events at TPS Victoria and TPS Murray River after the Webex Players Series added tournaments for golfers with disability for the first time.
He will play alongside Maryborough Golf Club’s Lachlan Wood (+0.5) and The Lakes Golf Club’s Julia Bowen (0.1) who boast the lowest handicaps in the field, while the oldest player is 88-year-old blind golfer David Blyth.
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