NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Winners have been announced for the 68th annual United States Blind Golf Association National Championship, an annual tournament that was held in Oregon City, Oregon, from Aug. 18-21.
Blind and visually impaired golfers from as far away as Hawaii and Massachusetts flew to the Portland area to vie for the title of “best blind or visually impaired golfer in the nation.” The USBGA National Championship occurred at Stone Creek Golf Club. The organization presented trophies to the winners and inducted Championship Director Ron Plath to its 2012 Hall of Fame during a special dinner on Aug. 21.
Golfers competed in categories ranging from totally blind (B-1) and little usable vision (B-2) to better usable vision (B-3). Winners in those categories received trophies designating them as the best blind or vision-impaired golfers in the nation. To be eligible to compete on the national level, a blind or vision-impaired golfer must have scored 125 or less (B-1), 110 or less (B-2), or 100 or less (B-3) in three qualifying rounds of golf.
* B-3 winners (better usable vision): Ron Plath of Lake Oswego, Oregon (first place/national champion); and Scott Wilson of Ontario, Oregon (second place).
“For someone like me, competing in a tournament like this is an opportunity to continue playing the game of golf,” Ron Plath said. “I was also honored to be inducted into the USBGA Hall of Fame and to chair an exemplary event like this in my home state of Oregon. I enjoy the competition along with the ability to increase the awareness of a great thing, blind golf.”
All 19 National Championship tournament competitors playing in Portland will be accompanied by coaches who “act as their eyes”. The coaches join their blind partners for breakfast, drive them to the golf course, manage their equipment, develop game-playing strategies, and provide directional advice for each hole. The golfers do all of the swinging, putting, slicing, triple-bogeying, and birdying.