21 May 2014
The South African Disabled Golf Association will break new ground this week with the hosting of the inaugural World Cup of Disabled Golf, which tees off at Zebula Golf Estate and Spa in Limpopo province on Wednesday.
The event is a 54-hole stroke-play championship and has drawn entries from Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States.
In-form rising stars Daniel Slabbert and Reinard Schuhknecht will partner with seasoned campaigner Conrad Scholtz in chasing down a home victory.
‘A really big deal’
Kathu’s Slabbert said there is a lot of pride at stake for the South African team. “The World Cup is a really big deal, but to tee it up for South Africa here at home is huge,” the three-time Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open champion said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We are South Africa’s first disabled golfers to earn national colours, along with our team manager, Eugene Vorster. We all definitely feel the pressure, because to wear the green and gold is an enormous honour for any athlete.
“The South African Disabled Golf Association worked incredibly hard to make this event happen and we want to do the country proud by winning the first World Cup.”
Schuhknecht believes the South African trio have had enough laps around the 6 829 metre Zebula layout over the last week to prepare for the challenge.
“We all played in the Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open here last week and we’ve had some practice rounds since, so we are definitely ready for the World Cup,” the 2013 World One-Arm Stroke Play champion explained.
“However, every team here wants to be the first winners of the World Cup, so the competition will be stiff. We just have to give it our best shot and make sure we come out on top.”
Just a week ago, reigning Canadian and American amputee golf champion Josh Williams broke Slabbert’s stronghold on the country’s premier disabled golf tournament and added the South African Disabled Open title to his tally.
The Kitchener native is relishing the chance to win the inaugural World Cup for Canada alongside Johannes Grames and Robert MacDermott.
“I love team competitions, so I am really looking forward to the challenge this week,” Williams said.
“It’s a fine thing to own three national titles, but in a team competition, it’s all down to how you perform on the day.
“We had a great practice round, and I’m confident we’ll do well here. The course is in fantastic nick, despite the struggles they have had with drought in this neck of the woods.
“It’s a long layout, but it is very fair and if you go off-line here, you will pay the price.”
The Canada Post employee said he is expecting a tough week. “We have some serious competition here this week,” he said. “Daniel and Reinard finished second and third last week, so they will be looking for a home victory and a little revenge. But we also have guys like Geoff Nicholas from Australia, Kenny Bonz and Tracy Ramin from the USA, who can be dangerous.
“As far as I am concerned, everyone has brought their A-game and the World Cup is wide open.”
Multiple US Amputee Championship winner Nicholas will partner Graham Kenyon and Shane Luke for Australia, while Bonz from the United States will line up with James Curley and Ramin, who finished sixth at the Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open.