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One month to go until Australia takes on the world at Metropolitan

October 23, 2018 Golf Tourism No Comments Email Email

Australia will be seeking their sixth World Cup title when Marc Leishman and Cameron Smithtake on the world at the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf at The Metropolitan Golf Club from November 22-25.

To preview the event and celebrate one month to go, celebrities gathered at Metropolitan on Melbourne’s sandbelt, to play one of Australia’s best courses, watch a chopper drop 1,200 golf balls in a fundraising nearest the pin for charity partner Movember, and hear details of a unique event featuring the world’s best golfers with a disability that will be staged in conjunction with the tournament (see below for more details).

Celebrity golf day to preview ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf media opportunities today

12-1pm – Arrivals and interviews
1:10 pm – Movember Chopper Drop
1:30-6:30pm – Golf
7pm – Presentations 

For further information and interview requests please contact David Culbert on
0417 272 641 or

Click HERE for more information on the media opportunities.

Golf loving personalities taking on the testing ‘Metro’ layout included Movember ambassadors Robert DiPierdomenicoJack WattsArchie Thompson and Brendan Fevola, cricketers Shane Warne and Damian Fleming, former tennis stars Todd Woodbridge and Sam Groth, and leading into the Cox Plate Hugh Bowman, Damien Oliver and a barrier load of jockeys, plus Winx owner Paul Kepitis.

The 59th staging of the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf will see the 56-players representing 28 nations in the two-man team competition vie for the largest prize-money purse in Australian golf, with $US7 million on offer. The 72-hole stroke play team format will feature Four-ball (best ball) play in the first and third rounds and Foursomes (alternate shot) play in the second and final rounds.

Australia’s Marc Leishman, fresh from his fourth PGA TOUR win at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, will be among the top ranked players in the tournament and will have rising young Queensland star Cameron Smith alongside as the Australians seek to win the coveted trophy for the first time since Adam Scott and Jason Day prevailed at Royal Melbourne in 2013.

Australia will be up against a strong field of international players, including two-time PGA TOUR winner Kyle Stanley, who selected seven-time PGA TOUR champion Matt Kuchar as his partner for Team USA. England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter will also be amongst the favourites as will the winning duo from Denmark who will return to defend their title, with Ryder Cup debutant Thorbjørn Olesen to again partner with Soren Kjeldsen.

South Africa will have a strong hand, with eight-time European Tour winner Branden Grace and fellow Presidents Cup veteran and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel making their second start in the World Cup of Golf.

Other notables include two-time major champion and former world No. 1 Martin Kaymer as well as World Golf Championships winner Shane Lowry who will be joined by Maximilian Kieffer and Paul Dunne as their respective partners for Team Germany and Team Ireland.

Leishman and Grace are among eight players who have played on past International Teams at the Presidents Cup. Kim, Schwartzel, India’s Anirban Lahiri, New Zealand’s Danny Lee, Canada’s Adam Hadwin and Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas round out that list.

World’s best golfers with a disability to compete in the
ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup 

Six Australia representatives will take on the world at ‘Metro’ 

Twelve of the world’s leading golfers with a disability from seven different countries will compete in the ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup, which will be contested 23-24 November immediately following second and third-round play of the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf at The Metropolitan Golf Club.

The ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup will showcase golf’s inclusive design with players sharing the same test as the very best of professional golfers participating in the World Cup. The ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup will mirror the World Cup format on the same tees and same course conditions.

The 36-hole invitational competition will be golf’s opportunity to showcase the world’s leading players with a disability (R4GD). The R4GD is a pan disability ranking system shared by 28 countries including Golf Australia.

The 12 golfers will include six golfers from Australia and six golfers from the rest of the world, including Victoria’s Mike Rolls, ranked 14th in the R4GD and the current Victorian Amputee Open winner. Rolls, whose ambition is to inspire others to take up the game, dedicates his resurgence with the game of golf through his father Ian, after dealing with multiple limb loss through contracting meningococcal septicaemia at a young age.

“I think this is probably the most excited I’ve ever been for a golf event,” Rolls said.

“It’s not just excitement about competing.  It’s excitement about where the game is headed in the inclusive space and I think that is going to provide so much hope. It’s going to provide concrete pathways for people with a disability to take their love of golf, or to develop a love of golf and take it a long way into the future.”

“There’s never been anything which is standalone identifying people that have been through a wide variety of adversity and to be able to showcase, not only what they’ve been able to overcome, but how they’ve been able to focus that energy and focus and determination and drive into a sport that is really, really difficult for people with two arms and two legs and no physical ailments. I think that’s where the impressive side of it comes for me.”

Others planning to tee it up at ‘Metro’ include Australia’s Geoff Nicholas, a legend of amputee and disabled golf who dominated the sport internationally in the 1990s and 2000s and earned the reputation as one of the true luminaries of the sport. He won both the British and U.S. Amputee Open Championships for 12 consecutive years between 1990 and 2002 and in 1992 earned his right to play on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, competing against Greg Norman and Tiger Woods.

“The ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf is proud to host the world’s top golfers with a disability as they test their skills against one another in the ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup,” said ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf Executive Director Robyn Cooper.

“A special opportunity awaits these athletes to compete on a global scale in front of the top professionals in the game while playing under pristine conditions at The Metropolitan Golf Club. It will undoubtedly prove to be an inspiring and memorable two days for all involved.”

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 2019 Presidents Cup and the 2019 and 2020 Sentry Tournament of Champions.

“As we welcome the world’s top golfers with a disability to Melbourne, the ‘power of sport’ will be on full display as they represent their country with pride in this inspirational competition,” said Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Founder and Chairman of ISPS HANDA.

“There’s no better stage to celebrate these athletes and their abilities than the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf, and we wish them luck as they continue to be a model of hope and inspiration for people around the world.”

The ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup contestants will play in three groups of four, at 10-minute intervals, following play. Approximate times: Friday 23 November 1:10 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Saturday 24 November 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

See below for the list of participants and link to player biographies.

1 Juan Postigo Arce SPAIN Leg Amputee
2 Brendan Lawlor IRELAND Ellis-van Creveld Syndrome
3 Shane Luke AUSTRALIA Leg Amputee
4 Ashley Harris ENGLAND Rheumatoid Arthritis
5 Timo Klischan GERMANY Brachial Plexus Palsy
6 Adem Wahbi BELGIUM Cerebral Palsy
7 Manuel De Los Santos DOM REPUBLIC Leg Amputee
8 Stephen Prior AUSTRALIA Arm Amputee
9 Mike Rolls AUSTRALIA Bi-Lateral Amputee (Leg)
10 Geoff Nicholas AUSTRALIA Leg Amputee
11 Tony Coates AUSTRALIA Arm Amputee
12 Cameron Pollard AUSTRALIA Autism

Click here for individual player biographies.

Players are representatives of the European Disabled Golf Association, a global collaboration of 28 countries worldwide sharing pathways for people with physical, intellectual and sensory impairments. Australian players are connected to the R4GD rankings and members of Amputee Golf Australia & Special Olympics Australia.

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