Aussie golfers dominate at Special Olympics
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)