Golf: The Disabled British Open Golf Championship
PUBLISHED: 13:47 25 September 2012 | UPDATED: 22:02 20 February 2013
Clive Agran reports on the Disabled British Open Golf Championship at East Sussex National
Alasdair Berry of Scotland finally captured the yourgolftravel.com Disabled British Open Golf Championship at East Sussex National at the fourth time of asking.
Third in the inaugural event in 2009, second in 2010 and third again last year, the 21-year-old from Irvine Ravenspark Golf Club was both thrilled and relieved to overhaul overnight leader Joakim Bjorkman from Sweden to lift the trophy with an impressive two-round score of 153, just nine over par.
The emotion of his triumph overwhelmed the affable three-handicapper. Struggling to hold back the tears, he said: It feels fantastic and it hasnt quite sunk in yet. Ive been close for the past three years so its great to have finally won this year. The conditions were difficult during the second round as it was very windy. After the first hole Joakim and I were level on scores and he gave me a great game.
Berry finished six strokes clear of three players in joint second place Bjorkman, two-time winner Duncan Hamilton-Martin and Kevin Harmison, who had finished second, fifth and seventh in the previous three tournaments.
Bjorkman, 22, a five-handicapper, set a blistering pace on the first day, in torrential rain and blustery winds, recording a two-over-par 74. However, he couldnt maintain that level of play, fell away on day two and slipped to a second-round 85, allowing playing partner Berry to take advantage.
Although none ever looked like winning, the four Sussex competitors all acquitted themselves very well and finished in the top half. Paul Tookey, a member of Seaford Head, had his lower left leg amputated below the knee and plays off a handicap of 10. His rounds of 95 and 84 allowed him to finish 14th in the low handicap category and in a tie for 16th in a field of 86 in the gross competition.
His Seaford Head clubmate Brendon Slavin, who had his right leg amputated below the knee, plays off nine and had rounds of 91 and 99 to finish 26th in the same handicap category and in a tie for 31st in the gross competition.
Also tied 31st was Goodwoods Derek Rogers. With an artificial right leg, Derek finished a creditable fifth in the mid-handicap division with rounds
of 97 and 93.
Four places behind him in the same handicap division came Roger Hurcombe of Boars Head Golf Club. Roger, who lost his right leg in a car accident, had rounds of 99 and 94 to finish 33rd in the gross competition.