Aussie golfers dom­i­nate at Spe­cial Olympics

Inside Golf - - News -

ATHENS’ Gly­fada Golf Course bore wit­ness to an Aus­tralian tal­ent on­slaught last month, as ev­ery mem­ber of Aus­tralia’s Spe­cial Olympics golf team won a medal in their divi­sion.

With re­mark­able per­for­mances all around, the Aussie team re­turned from Greece with two gold (Steve Rob­son, Matthew Culkin), three sil­ver (Amanda Pat­ter­son, Alexan­der Hayes, Kate Wil­son) and two bronze (Matthew Cur­ley, Craig Read).

Rob­son, who is a mem­ber of Ever­glades Golf Club, took home the gold medal when he came home with a wet sail to de­feat fron­trun­ner Tom Petersen of Den­mark.

Placed in Divi­sion 2 af­ter the first two rounds, Rob­son started the fi­nal day of the four-round tour­na­ment nine shots be­hind. Things didn’t ex­actly go to plan, how­ever, when he four-putted the first hole, but he quickly ral­lied and turned a 13-shot deficit into what would be­come a four­shot vic­tory.

It took un­til the 17th hole for Rob­son to get the up­per hand when he bombed a 275m drive and fol­lowed it up with a nice up-and-down for par.

He took a two-shot lead to the 18th, a short but tough dog­leg par-4 hole with a tiered small green sur­rounded by heavy US Open-style rough.

De­spite fin­ish­ing with a bo­gey, Rob­son’s fi­nal round of 75 was a per­sonal best and set a new Spe­cial Olympics course record.

With rounds of 92-92-88-75 (347) the re­sult placed Rob­son fifth be­hind Divi­sion 1 win­ner Thomas Lugg of South Africa.

He was ec­static with the re­sult and thanked all his sup­port­ers and friends af­ter­wards.

Rob­son’s dis­play set the tone and he was fol­lowed onto the course by Read, Wil­son, Cur­ley and Hayes.

Sil­ver medal­list and Queens­lan­der Pat­ter­son, later ad­mit­ted feel­ing a lit­tle ner­vous and her form dropped off. Not that she was un­happy with a sil­ver. “It’s a lovely course,” she said ear­lier in the day. “Much bet­ter than the course at Rhodes where we had trou­ble get­ting tees into the rocky ground.”

Pat­ter­son had plenty of sup­port from back home with hero-grams from her mother and her friends at the Pine Rivers Golf Club in north Bris­bane where she plays ev­ery Mon­day.

L-R As­sis­tant Coach John Borger, Matthew Culkin and Amanda Pat­ter­son. (Photo: John Barker)

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