Northumberland’s Kevin Harmison took the 2017 English Disability Open title after two great days of golf, winning on countback from George Groves of Sussex.
Harmison (Newbiggin) and Groves (Copthorne) tied on 151 gross after two rounds on the Earls and Kings Courses at The Warwickshire Golf Club. Harmison won thanks to his superior score over the last three holes.
The English Disability Open, hosted by BALASA Golf and supported by England Golf and The R&A, welcomed 41 golfers competing for the overall gross prize and also for net prizes in two categories and a stableford competition.
Harmison said: “I played with two fantastic groups over the weekend and it is a pity that someone had to lose. I’m really pleased to have won the title but was pushed all the way to the last shot on the final hole.”
Harmison was part of the English Disabled Golf team which won the bronze medal at the European Team Championships for disabled golfers in Portugal last month. He raised his game at the English Disability Open to beat fellow members of the squad including Groves, who recently won the Swedish Invitational in a play off, and last year’s winner, Duncan Hamilton-Martin (St Georges Hill)
Other winners were:
Category 1 (handicaps up to 9.4), Ashley Harris (Merrist Wood), net 140
Category 2 (handicaps up to 18.4), Ben Bowen (Holsworthy), net 147
Category 3 (handicaps above 18.5), Richard Saunders (Hintlesham), 59 stableford points.
The presentations were made by Dr Bill Holmes, a member of The R&A’s Referees Panel who was also out on duty out on the course over the weekend.
Jamie Blair, Disability Manager for England Golf, commented: “The Warwickshire were fantastic hosts for a fantastic show of golfing ability. Huge congratulations to the players on their achievements across two challenging courses that were excellently prepared.
“I would also like to thank the BALASA committee, our referees and Colin Knapp, the club’s Senior Captain and the senior section who provided spotters and scorers over the weekend.”
From 2019, England Golf will be taking over the management of this event and making this part of their annual calendar of events. The previous two years have provided great insight and set a standard for the future.
As part of this transition, England Golf will be launching an online survey for disabled golfers to give their views on what they would like to see at events.
Disabled people who are keen to get into golf can find their local inclusive golf facility at the www.getintogolf.org website or find out more about the events across the country from www.englandgolf.org/disabilitygolf Alternatively, email England Golf on firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.