Thursday, July 01, 2010

    Jim Gales is on the right of this picture with his guide on the extreme left and tournament organiser Mark Arnold in the middle.

Blind Scottish golfer returns victorious from Ohio cup match

Following an invitation to compete on the Canadian golf team, against the United States, Jim Gales of
Springfield has just returned from Wadsworth, Ohio after the four-day 10-a-side Ryder Cup of blind golf.
Jim (46) said, "We had a fantastic time meeting up with all the guys again and it was rather special
to go across and beat the Americans in their own backyard. It is always good to play well and
everyone wants to win their games, but both teams helped to generate a friendly atmosphere and even
after the day's competition, we all met for a lengthy discussion at the 19th".
The two teams in Ohio competed for the McCulloch Memorial Cup, named in honour of Denny McCulloch, a visually-impaired golfer from Canada, who lost his battle with cancer in 2006.
Jim added: "Mark Arnold, the tournament organiser and his team of volunteers, really looked
after us well and we managed to play a few other courses including the prestigious Firestone Golf Club. Although we lost a good few golf balls on this very difficult course, we came back with a not too bad score and some great memories to boot!"
This event was Jim's 50th international competition as a disabled golfer. He hadn't played golf before
his sight deteriorated. He has now competed around the world in Japan, Australia and Canada and won titles including the Scottish, British and Canadian Opens and has captained three Ryder Cup-style blind teams to victories.
Due to another competition taking place at the popular Ridge Top Golf Club, organiser Mark
Arnold held the singles matches on the first day and Canada took an early if unexpected, lead by
seven games to three.
Day two however, saw an American surge and they pulled back to just one game
behind with a 4-1 win. Although the Americans "loaded their bases" for an early win on day
three, the Canadians held them back to only two wins to Canada's three and an overall victory by 11 to 9.
The event, hosted by the Rittman Lions and supported by many, including Titleist, took place at
Ridge Top Golf Course in Montville township from  June 24 to 27. Aside from showcasing the talents
of the golfers, it raised money for sight-related causes, particularly adaptive technology
scholarships for those who are unable to see and need such assistance for school or work and donated
monies raised to The Foundation Fighting Blindness.
After the tournament five scholarships were presented, totalling over $5000, one of which went to an eight year old who recently won the World Braille Challenge in Los Angeles
The trophy now heads back to Canada for a 2011 staging. The two teams of blind golfers, who were
accompanied by their sighted guides, were as follows
Team USA
Mark Arnold (captain), Charlie Adams, Ron Derry, Brad Eaton, Kevin Edwards, Harry Hester, Bruce
Hooper, Joe Hojnicki, Tim Jackson and Ron Murner.
Team Canada
Brian MacLeod (captain), Glenn Babcock, Bruno Boucher, Jim Gales, Rick Kush, Tim Nolan, Doug Penner, Doug Stoutley, George Thirkill and Mike Vrooman.

More information on the hosts, American Blind Golf can be found at



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