Kevin Whalley, the President and Team Manager of England Deaf Golf, reports on a very successful tournament in Denmark for the English team.
The 11th World Deaf Golf Championships 2016 were held at the Royal Golf Club, Copenhagen, Denmark on 26-29 July 2016.
The highlight was Lydia Ingman winning the Ladies event, beating past winners Patricia Lopez (USA), Leonie Warringa (Netherlands) and Melissa Stockton (USA) on her way to the title. Donna Cross and Lydia also won the Ladies team event beating the favourites, USA. It was the first time that England had won both individual and team events at the same championships!
The 14 players England Team who participated were:
Mens – Paul Waring, Martin Anderson, Michael Burris, Richard Le Page, Marc Murphy, Michael Roberts, Ben Stephens.
Ladies – Lydia Ingman and Donna Cross.
Seniors – Keith Wilkinson, Darren Upton, Rod Oaten, John Leishman and Kevin Whalley.
Most of us had played in previous World Deaf Golf Championships including in the USA two years ago, so we knew what to expect.
The weather was excellent throughout the four rounds of the Championships. The golf course, which is in the middle of Copenhagen, was challenging and tested all of us with many water traps, tight fairways and sloping fast greens. It was no surprise that all the scores were high and there was a mixture of moaning and compliments about the design of the young golf course. There was also lots of aching legs and backs for everyone except those that used buggies!
Many spectators from all over the world came to watch the golf and spend time in the Club House chatting and signing away. There was a fantastic Golf scoreboard at the Club House where players’ scores were recorded and displayed after every three holes we played. This made the tournament live just as one would find on TV. Many volunteers, interpreters and marshals were positioned around the 18 holes to ensure that the Championship ran smoothly. The hotel and food were both first class.
Young Paul Waring from Felixstowe, Suffolk who expected to finish in the top five did even better and ended up second in the Men’s event. A newcomer to this event, called Allen John from Germany, an ex-professional golfer, cruised home to a comfortable win by a 20 shot margin. He led after every round and was a worthy winner. The rest of the England’s men did well but finished lower down the ladder. The England and Scotland Team also fared well down the league.
In the Seniors event we came up against our auld enemy, Scottish golfer Mark Lothian, who won the event beating off challenges from hot favourite Kenneth Hoffman of Canada who had won the last three times, and John Rush (USA). Our own Keith Wilkinson shot a brilliant 82 in the fourth round beating all the seniors that day but his total over four rounds meant he finished in the middle of the order. Thanks to Danish Deaf Golf for organising the whole event.
We all look forward to the next WDGC2018 in Carlton House, 20 minutes from Dublin, Ireland.
The World Deaf Golf Championships 2016 attracted over 100 golfers and more than 20 coaches and leaders from 18 countries.
Organisers were successful in lining up a number of sponsors including Samsung, who provided tablets and mobile phones to assist organisers in communicating during the event, and the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers Hotel. The trophies for the event were designed by Danish artist Leif Sylvester.
The championships have taken place every two years since 1998. The first edition took place in 1995 in Meriden, England with 59 male golfers from 8 countries. Women first participated at the 2000 edition in Lost City, South Africa as an exhibition event. They formally participated in their own event at the 2002 edition in Ireland, with American Patty Sue Polysa claiming the first women’s title. The first Senior Men’s champion was crowned at the 2004 edition in Stockholm, Sweden with Japanese golfer Jun Oishi claiming the title.