USGA announces field for inaugural US Adaptive Open at Pinehurst

The field is set for the inaugural US Adaptive Open and Amy Bockerstette is among the 96 players in the field. Bockerstette, 23, went viral in 2019 when she famously said, “I got this!” when getting up-and-down for par from a greenside bunker during the Waste Management Phoenix Open alongside her playing partner Gary Woodland, who is now a good friend of hers.

Bockerstette will compete in the intellectual impairment category. The disabilities advocate founded the I Got This Foundation to provide golf instruction, playing opportunities and organized events for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

The USGA received 299 entries for the inaugural event, held July 18-20 on Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 6. Individual handicaps were there primary factor in determining the field, with five male player spots and two female player spots designated for impairment category. The eight impairment categories include: arm impairment, leg impairment, multiple limb amputee, neurological impairment, seated players, short stature, vision impairment and intellectual impairment.

The field’s youngest competitor is 15-year-old Sophia Howard from Hudsonville, Michigan, and Judith Brush, 80, of Alexandria, Virginia, is the championship’s oldest player. Players will represent 12 countries and 29 states.

Dennis Walters, 72, of Jupiter, Florida, who received the 2018 Bob Jones Award, the USGA’s highest honor, will join six other golfers who qualified in the seated player impairment category. Walters has turned the tragedy of being paralyzed from the waist down at age 24 from a golf-cart accident into a personal mission to teach golf and life lessons to a worldwide audience.

Alex Fourie

PGA pro Alex Fourie. (courtesy photo)

PGA teaching pro Alex Fourie, who spent the first seven years of his life in Ukrainian orphanages, is among the best one-armed players in the world. Forie, who now lives with his family in Tennessee, sells T-shirts through his charity di lui, Single Hand Golf, to help orphans in war-torn Ukraine.

There will be one overall men’s champion and one overall women’s champion.

“We are thrilled by the level of interest and support that we’ve received from the adaptive community for the inaugural US Adaptive Open,” said John Bodenhamer, chief championships officer for the USGA. “To receive nearly 300 entries from around the world underscores the passion of these athletes who are seeking the opportunity to compete for a national championship.”

Chris Biggins, director of player development at the Country Club of Birmingham, who was born with cerebral palsy, will compete in the neurological impairment category. The 2022 US Amateur Four-Ball is being contested this week at the Alabama club.

“Competing in an official USGA championship has been a dream of mine for years and now that dream will be coming to fruition,” said Biggins. “This event will attract the best golfers from around the world to compete on an incredible course, Pinehurst No. 6. It is an honor to compete in this historic event and help pave the way for the growth of disabled golf.”

The championship will be contested over 54 holes of stroke play. Multiple sets of tees will be utilized. Carts will be permitted for all players and caddies. The 96-player field is as follows:

Trevor Arnoneof Lewiston, Idaho, 34, Short Stature
Kurtis Barkleyof Canada, 34, Short Stature
Brian Bemisof Lansing, Mich., 48, Leg Impairment
Adam Benzaof Hellertown, Pa., 35, Leg Impairment
Andrew Berglundof Stillwater, Minn., 22, Intellectual Impairment
Chris Bigginsof Birmingham, Ala., 30, Neurological Impairment
Jeremy Bittnerof Pittsburgh, Pa., 33, Leg Impairment
Joakim Bjorkmanof Sweden, 32, Short Stature
Wayne Blankenshipof Union, Mo., 52, Leg Impairment
Amy Bockerstetteof Phoenix, Ariz., 23, Intellectual Impairment
Jack Bonifantof Kensington, Md., 32, Neurological Impairment
Kenny Bontzof Parrish, Fla., 52, Leg Impairment
Erik Bowenof Oakland, Calif., 42, Multiple Limb Amputee
Albert Bowkerof Buellton, Calif., 25, Short Stature
Grace Anne Braxtonof Fredericksburg, Va., 50, Intellectual Impairment
Ryan Brendenof Pierce, Neb., 46, Leg Impairment
Carlos Brownof McKinney, Texas, 42, Leg Impairment
Mike Browneof England, 44, Leg Impairment
Judith Brushof Alexandria, Va., 80, Leg Impairment
Brandon Canesiof Doral, Fla., 30, Multiple Limb Amputee
Luke Carrollof Old Hickory, Tenn., 17, Neurological Impairment
Lawrence Celanoof Chandler, Ariz., 53, Seated Players
Amanda Cunhaof Kaneohe, Hawaii, 18, Vision Impairment
Ryan Cutterof Helena, Mont., 31, Multiple Limb Amputee
Mario Dinoof Denver, Colo., 19, Neurological Impairment
Zachary Duncanof Cornelius, NC, 22, Intellectual Impairment
Spencer Easthopeof Canada, 40, Neurological Impairment
Conor Ennisof Wake Forest, NC, 31, Short Stature
Jesse Florkowskiof Canada, 32, Arm Impairment
Alex Fourieof Knoxville, Tenn., 29, Arm Impairment
Billy Fryarof Bigelow, Ark., 50, Seated Players
Patrick Garrisonof Folsom, Pa., 38, Neurological Impairment
Ken Greenof West Palm Beach, Fla., 63, Leg Impairment
Zachary Groveof York, Pa., 36, Neurological Impairment
Mauricio Gutiérrezof Mexico, 47, Seated Players
Ann Hayesof Lee, Mass., 59, Seated Players
Joseph (Joey) Hillof Tampa, Fla., 22, Intellectual Impairment
Greg Hollingsworthof Peck, Kan., 53, Leg Impairment
Sophia Howardof Hudsonville, Mich., 15, Arm Impairment
Ryanne Jacksonof St. Petersburg, Fla., 24, Neurological Impairment
Han Jeongwonof Republic of Korea, 51, Leg Impairment
Lucas Jonesof Louisville, Ky., 27, Leg Impairment
Kiefer Jonesof Canada, 32, Vision Impairment
Shigeru Kobayashiof Japan, 66, Leg Impairment
Masato Koyamadaof Japan, 55, Arm Impairment
Sarah Beth Larsonof Green Bay, Wis., 43, Arm Impairment
Cynthia Lawrenceof Lehigh Acres, Fla., 59, Multiple Limb Amputee
Simon Leeof Republic of Korea, 25, Intellectual Impairment
Yangwoo Leeof Republic of Korea, 24, Intellectual Impairment
Cedric Lescut, of Belgium, 43, Leg Impairment
Rasmus Liaof Sweden, 21, Leg Impairment
Michael Madsenof Meridian, Idaho, 41, Leg Impairment
Tommy Marksof Danville, Pa., 42, Vision Impairment
Evan Mathiasof Indianapolis, Ind., 26, Multiple Limb Amputee
Joseph McCarronof Orange Beach, Ala., 59, Vision Impairment
Sean Mitchellof Spokane, Wash., 32, Leg Impairment
Kim Mooreof Portage, Mich., 41, Leg Impairment
Austin Morrisof Bend, Ore., 34, Arm Impairment
Felix Norrmanof Sweden, 25, Intellectual Impairment
Jake Olsonof Huntington Beach, Calif., 25, Vision Impairment
Elaine Ostrovskyof Boca Raton, Fla., 49, Neurological Impairment
Wooshik Parkof Republic of Korea, 63, Leg Impairment
William Peaseof St. Augustine, Fla., 58, Vision Impairment
Steven Pennellof Jefferson, NC, 44, Multiple Limb Amputee
Chad Pfeiferof Caldwell, Idaho, 40, Leg Impairment
Jeremy Poincenotof Carlsbad, Calif., 32, Vision Impairment
Kipp Popertof England, 24, Neurological Impairment
Krystian Pushkaof Canada, 31, Intellectual Impairment
Tracy Raminof Montrose, Mich., 50, Leg Impairment
Trevor Reichof South Africa, 58, Leg Impairment
Stacey Riceof Suwanee, Ga., 59, Leg Impairment
Brandon Rowlandof Jackson, Tenn., 41, Multiple Limb Amputee
Send Sedlakof Kearney, Neb., 42, Leg Impairment
Randy Shackof Sulfur Springs, Texas, 38, Seated Players
Steven Shipuleskiof Plainfield, Conn., 51, Arm Impairment
Douglas Shirakura, of Somers, NY, 20, Leg Impairment
Rasmus Skov løtof Denmark, 21, Arm Impairment
Deborah Smithof Rockford, Ill., 60, Leg Impairment
Jonathan Snyderof Charlotte, NC, 40, Arm Impairment
Natasha Stasiukof Canada, 24, Intellectual Impairment
Conor Stoneof Ireland, 27, Arm Impairment
Joshua Tankersleyof Fort Worth, Texas, 36, Leg Impairment
Jordan Thomasof Nashville, Tenn., 33, Multiple Limb Amputee
Mariano Tubioof Argentina, 42, Seated Players
Kellie Valentineof McKean, Pa., 51, Arm Impairment
Kevin Valentineof Winter Garden, Fla., 48, Leg Impairment
Patti Valeroof Brandon, Fla., 59, Leg Impairment
Elisha Villanuevaof Fort Bragg, NC, 55, Arm Impairment
Adem Wahbiof Belgium, 23, Neurological Impairment
Cathy Walchof Buford, Ga., 56, Arm Impairment
Robert Waldenof Queen Creek, Ariz., 50, Arm Impairment
Dennis Waltersof Jupiter, Fla., 72, Seated Players
David Wattsof South Africa, 34, Leg Impairment
Joshua Williamsof Canada, 37, Leg Impairment
Hayato Yoshidaof Japan, 38, Leg Impairment
Peyton Zinsof Indianapolis, Ind., 20, Neurological Impairment

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