Six Aussies to take on world during Presidents Cup

David Tease
October 11, 2019

Geoff Nicholas and Shane Luke will be part of a six-strong Aussie outfit taking on the world in the ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup during the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne

MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia – Presidents Cup officials announced today that 12 of the world’s leading golfers with a disability from six different countries will compete in the ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup, which will be contested Friday 13 December immediately following the Presidents Cup’s second session of play at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

ISPS HANDA, the Official Australian Charity for the Presidents Cup, are long-term advocates for the promotion of blind and disabled golf and will be supporting this event as it is staged at Presidents Cup for the first time.  

The ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup will showcase golf’s inclusive design with players sharing the same test as the professional golfers participating in the Presidents Cup. The ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup will take place across 10 holes of the Composite Course from Nos. 1-4, 11-16 and will mirror the Presidents Cup format on the same tees and same course conditions.

This invitational competition will be golf’s opportunity to showcase the world’s leading players with a disability (WR4GD). The WR4GD is a pan disability ranking system administered jointly by The R&A and USGA through World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).

“The Presidents Cup is proud to host the world’s top golfers with a disability as they showcase their incredible skills against one another in the ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup” said Presidents Cup Executive Director Matt Kamienski. “We can all draw a lot of inspiration from watching these athletes compete, and we wish them the best as they put their games to the test on a global scale in front of the top professionals in the game at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club.”

ISPS HANDA has been a leading voice in gathering support for the inclusion of disabled golf in the Paralympics, an initiative that is supported by the PGA TOUR and International Federation of PGA Tours. To continue to raise awareness of this initiative, ISPS HANDA will also host Blind and Disabled golf exhibitions at the 2020 and 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions.

“ISPS HANDA is delighted to be the Official Australian Charity of the Presidents Cup and Sponsor of the ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup, taking center stage at the famed Royal Melbourne straight after play by the professionals on Friday,” said Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Founder and Chairman of ISPS HANDA. “The Presidents Cup is a terrific format which embodies the Power of Sport through its significant charitable giving. ISPS HANDA is delighted to have the opportunity to promote disabled golf in association with the Presidents Cup and to see the adaptive game garnering major support from many tours. We are sincerely grateful to the PGA TOUR for their immense contribution to this worldwide effort that we first undertook three decades ago.”

ISPS HANDA Patron and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Sir John Key, will be attending the event to support both teams. He offered “the best of luck to the athletes as they compete against one another, whilst creating some unforgettable moments along the way.”

The ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup contestants will play in three groups of four, at 10-minute intervals, following play. Approximate times: Friday 13 December 4:15 p.m. – 4:35 p.m.

Ten of the twelve ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup athletes will compete in Sydney the week before the Presidents Cup in the second-ever Australian All Abilities Championship in conjunction with the Australian Open.

In 2018, the Australian All Abilities Championship, presented by ISPS HANDA, made its debut the week before the 2018 ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf, which hosted the first-ever ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup at The Metropolitan Golf Club. 

The 12 golfers will include six golfers from Australia and six golfers from the rest of the world, including Geoff Nicholas and Shane Luke, who represent Australia’s top-ranked players on the R4GD at Nos. 9 and 12, respectively.

ISPS HANDA World Invitational Tournament Ambassador and world No. 3, Brendan Lawlor, is one of the six international players to take on the Australians on home soil.

“It’s a dream to be able to participate in the ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup alongside the Presidents Cup in Australia later this year.” Lawlor said. “It wouldn’t be possible without the vision of ISPS HANDA who are creating the opportunities for us to showcase what we can do to a global audience. I cannot wait to get going.”

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