Nicholas nabs 5th Amputee Open

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

For a guy who once was able to tame the Tiger, it should come as no surprise that Geoff Nicholas was able to defend his title with ease. Nicholas, the pride of Sydney, Australia, shot a two under-par 69 yesterday at Southwood Golf & Country Club to capture the Canadian National Amputee Open for a fifth time, by 11 shots over Robert MacDermott of Edmonton.

After an even-par front nine, Nicholas was two under on the back to finish the tournament at four-over 217.

MacDermott finished second at 228, Dan Cox was 232 and Rick Craft rounded out the top four at 233.

\"I started out really well and on the 13th, I nearly had a hole-in-one -- I hit it to within two feet,\" said Nicholas, whose birth defect (Thilalimode) in his right leg didn\'t prevent him from picking up the sport of golf at the age of 13. \"I putted really well.\"

Nicholas, whose clubs arrived two days after he did, will compete in the United States National Amputee Open next weekend and later this month will attend the first stage of the European PGA Tour\'s qualifying school in London, England.

\"I went a couple of years ago and I missed out by two (strokes),\" said Nicholas, who has played in roughly 30 Australian PGA Tour events. \"In 1996 I played in the Australian Open and made the cut. Greg Norman won it and I actually led Tiger Woods after the first round (77 to 79).\"

Thrilled

Tournament chairman Ralph Warrington was thrilled to report that all 88 of the golfers that started the tournament on Wednesday completed all 54 holes in the tournament.

\"Not one amputee, regardless of blisters or anything bailed out and that\'s incredible,\" said Warrington, who has played in 40 or 50 amputee events in his career. \"It\'s the first time that the whole field has finished so I\'m just delighted. It\'s so wonderful. Just think about the perseverence of those players in the 300s and how they hung in there. It\'s unbelievable.\"


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