Special Olympics tournament concludes

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 26, 2011, 4:49 am

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The 12th annual Special Olympics national golf tournament concluded Sunday, with Tyler Whitehurst of Palm Harbor, Fla., winning the gold medal in the men’s top division.

Whitehurst shot 84-91-80—255 in the men’s Level 5 competition, which consisted of three rounds of individual stroke play.

In the women’s top division, Grace Ann Braxton, 39, of Fredericksburg, Va., won the gold medal with scores of 83-92-94—269. 

The Level 4 (9-hole individual stroke play) winner was Danny Peaslee, 15, of Souris, Manitoba, Canada, with 41-42-46—129.

Scott Rohrer of York, S.C., partnered with his father, Jeff, to win Level 3 (18-hole unified sports team play, with 80-78-79—237 for the gold medal.  Scott Rohrer was the record-setting gold medalist at last year’s tournament when he shot the 18-hole and 54-hole record of 71-75-75—221 in Level 5.

In Level 2 (9-hole alternate-shot team play), the team of Andrew Martinez (athlete) and Michael Martinez (partner) of Kansas City, Mo., scored a one-shot win with 48-45-48—141.

In Level 1 (competition in six individual skills, where the highest score wins), Phillip Shepard of Mount Airy, Md., won with 65-84-84—233.

Tyler Whitehurst’s stepmother, Amy Whitehurst, described what playing golf has meant to Tyler, who is autistic.

'When Tyler started playing golf, he only had endurance for about four holes,” Amy Whitehurst said.  “When we signed him up for Special Olympics, he had to learn and build up the stamina to play nine holes. And he did that in three months time – that’s how driven and focused he was. He won at Regionals and went on to States (in golf) and he won the silver medal. When he came down off the podium and looked at Jim (his dad), he said ‘I’m so proud of myself, I could cry.’

“What’s so amazing about that is that he’d never had an opportunity to set a goal, and get that sense of self and feeling of pride to reach it. Special Olympics has given that to him and from that moment forward, it changed his life. He went from playing 9 to 18 holes. The manners he’s learned through golf, the etiquette, having a great attitude and being positive … all of it, Special Olympics totally changed his life.” 

“It feels awesome,” Tyler Whitehurst said, “because, at my first state championship, I won a silver medal and this is my first national tournament and I won gold – it’s totally different – a whole new level of competition and accomplishment for me. I just want to keep getting better.” 

Jeff Rohrer talked about how quickly his son Scott, who is autistic, took to golf.

 “He’s always played with me,” Jeff Rohrer said.  “He started when he was 7.  Soon after we found out he had autism. We got him playing and it’s something he really excelled at because it’s an individual sport. He’s never had a swing lesson; he has the same swing now he’s always had. I just love watching him hit good shots.  He’s the better golfer of the two of us; he has the lower handicap. A couple weeks ago we played at Myrtle Beach and he shot a 75 from the back tees at Myrtle Wood. I shot an 86. 

“Golf is something he’s really keyed in to; he’s totally focused when he’s out here. You don’t even notice he’s autistic. It’s really helped him to relate to others where we play at home. The other guys have so much respect for him and his game – he’s accepted. Special Olympics and golf have really helped him to excel. I know he’s proud of what he’s able to do. It’s definitely given him an avenue to succeed.”

Full results are available at www.pgamediacenter.com.


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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm