2013 Japanese Blind Golf Open Championship
Blind Golfer Sean Witting wins the 2013 Japanese Blind Golf Open Championship
In his first ever international blind golf tournament, Sean Witting from Wangaratta in Victoria won the 2013 Japanese Blind Golf Open Championship held at the Mishima GC recently. Sean who is a B2 category golfer on a 22 handicap had a net 73 on the par 72 course in the first round and was 12 shots behind fellow Australian Gary Sargent (B2 handicap 28) who had a net 61. In the final round Sean played inspiring golf with an 88 off the stick to produce a combined net score of 139 to win by 2 stokes from Japanese golfer Toshio Karasawa. Sean also won trophies for the best B2 net and gross scores.
Nine blind golfers from Australia competed in the event with Rick Krolik from Victoria being runner-up in the B3 category net event, and Gary Sargent from New South Wales winning the longest drive trophy.
Sean currently holds not only the Japan title but also the Australian Open title which he won back in November 2012. He will defend his Australian Open title at Collier Park in WA later this year.
Sean was encouraged into blind golfer purely by chance when another blind golfer overheard him enquiring at a golf club about selling his golf clubs following the reasonably rapid onset of vision impairment. Blind golf is now a significant part of Sean’s life.
A few days after returning from Japan, Sean competed in the New South Wales Blind Golf Open Championship held at Barnwell Park GC and won the gross event with a two round score of 165. The Championship was won by Rod Mills from NSW with a net score of 105 on a handicap of 30.
Blind golf has 3 sight categories; B1, B2 and B3 depending on the player’s vision capabilities. B1 players are totally blind.
Anyone wishing to learn more about either playing blind golf or caddying for a blind golfer may contact Gary McInnes on +61 (0)417 055 731. They may also check out this, the Blind Golf Australia website www.blindgolf.com.au, or see www.internationalblindgolf.com