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Golf: Pocklington's Martin Anderson tees off bid to be big in Japan
POCKLINGTON golf ace Martin Anderson has the honour of hitting the first shot at next week’s World Deaf Golf Championships in Japan.
The Allerthorpe Park GC member, captain of the English Deaf Golf Association, leads a team of six in the premier international competition, which is being staged next week at the Tsu Country Club in Mie Prefecture.
Anderson goes into the event in good form, having got to the regional finals of the League to Dubai Amateur event at Oulton Hall, Leeds, and teaming up with Josh Hill to win the Drake’s Trophy at his home club with a 62 in the four-ball better-ball strokeplay event.
The four-handicapper is targeting both individual and team glory in the 72-hole Japan extravaganza, and is delighted with the progress the English Deaf Golf Association has made during his time as playing captain.
“It is going to be a fantastic experience to be able to go to Japan and I feel lucky that the 2012 WDGC event is still getting the go ahead despite the aftermath of the Tsunami in March 2011,” Anderson said. “I am really looking forward to a whole new different culture, the food and also the different styles of golf course with their plantations unique to Japan.
“The last two years has been extremely tough on myself as captain of the English Deaf Golf Association. However we have been going from strength to strength to build up a good network within the EDGA.
“We have started up a partnership with England Golf to provide grassroots golf for deaf and hard of hearing golfers that are new to the game and wish to have financial support. What a lot of the deaf and hard of hearing people lack is a stable working environment so they rely on Government support.
“Naturally, the support does not financially allow them to join a golf club freely, so we are looking to help them in this aspect with funding from England Golf. In the meantime, we rely on public funding to keep the EDGA set up going.”
Anderson tees off at 8am Japanese time on Tuesday in a three ball which also includes American Jack McLeod and South African Given Holose. England have never won the World Deaf Golf Championships, which are being staged for the ninth time. Their previous best was second.
He added: “I stand myself in good stead to have a crack at top five in the World Deaf Golf individual event. I managed this feat in 2006 in Canada. We have good players in the team and we are able to mount a good challenge for the coveted World Deaf Golf Championships trophy – one that has been elusive since the start of the WDGC in 1995 at Forest of Arden.”
Anderson is joined in Japan by vice-captain Jason Albutt, Ben Stephens, Michael Burris, Mike Roberts and Richard Le Page. The team event format sees the best four scores count for each round. The lowest gross team score wins. Thirteen countries are competing with a total of 92 players – 55 men, 15 ladies and 22 seniors.
Already sponsored by the likes of SkyCaddie and Adidas, Anderson is still raising money to help English Deaf Golf Association players fund trips, and people can donate by logging onto www.justgiving.com/ EnglishDeafGolf-Japan2012