2016 World Deaf Golf Championship was held at The Royal Golf Club in Copenhagen, Denmark during the week of July 25th. It was hosted by Denmark Deaf Sport Federation chaired by Joachim Thor Krøyer and his wonderful committee members. The golf course itself was pretty difficult where the slope was 144. Each round took golfers to complete around 5 hours.
The first round of the World Deaf Golf Championships has completed for all divisions: Men, Ladies, and Senior Men. The tee-off started on the 1st hole instead of the split fields on 1st & 10th tees, which happened at previous WDGCs in 2006, 2008, 2012 & 2014. The day was quite long for players who started late in the morning. The weather was very warm in the morning; however, in the afternoon the wind picked up which gave several golfers – mostly men – some challenges on some holes.
First Round Results: USA Men’s– Brandon Babineaux (Texas) shot 79, placing him 7th place behind 5 strokes from the leader. USA Women’s – Patty Lopez (Arizona) shot 89, came in third place, 8 strokes behind the leader. USA Seniors’ – John Rush (Colorado) and Keith Worek (New York) were tied with 83 in third place, behind by four strokes.
Team Competitions: Men’s: Babineaux, Michael Mabashov (Maryland), Eric Brumm (St. Louis), Justin “Pono” Tokioka (Hawaii) and David Wantuck (Missouri) came in first place leading by 3 strokes over Germany team who were competing for the first time in WDGC history. Women’s: Sadly there were only two teams participating – England and USA. Women’s: Lopez, Susan Zupnik (New Jersey), Melissa Stockton (Utah) and Mary Bachtel (Ohio) came in second by 3 strokes. Seniors: Worek, Rush, David Ramirez (Florida), Michael Finneran (California) and Gerald Isobe (Hawaii) played outstanding and led by five strokes over Canada team.
Second Round Results: Men’s: Babineaux improved three strokes and shot 76, while Mabashov dramatically jumped to fourth place with 77 with 9 strokes better than the first round despite his injured left shoulder. Women’s: Lopez shot 86, improved by three strokes and placed in 2nd behind by 6 strokes. Seniors: Rush played outstanding and shot 78. He came in first place leading by 3 strokes.
Team Men’s: USA continued to lead over Germany by 9 strokes.
Team Women’s: USA lead over England by 1 stroke; with help from Zupnik who improved by 10 strokes from first round (103 to 93) as she was suffering with a hip inflammation.
Team Senior’s: USA continued to lead 25 strokes over Australia (325 – 350)
Third Round Results: Men’s: Again, Babineaux improved by two strokes with 74, placing him in second place with 14 strokes behind. Women’s – Lopez didn’t do well, shot 89, and fell into fourth place. Seniors: Rush continued to lead by four strokes with 85, which all the seniors were struggling on that day. Lowest round scores were Rush and Finneran with 85 respectively.
Team Men’s: USA again came in strong leading 20 strokes over Germany.
Team Women’s: England played better and led by 5 strokes over USA.
Team Seniors’: USA increased their lead by 30 strokes over second place – Australia
Final Fourth Round Results: Men’s: Brumn shot the lowest round – 74 for the day with Allen John (Germany) – who won the men’s championships (72-71-72-74 = 289). Babineaux horrendously shot 85 and fell back to third place overall for the tournament. Women’s: USA team didn’t do well while defending champ (2014) Lopez shot 94 and placed in 4th overall. Seniors: Unexpected and with the nerves competing for first place, Rush fell apart, and shot 92, placing him in third place, behind by 4 strokes.
Team Men’s USA won by 31 strokes. Team Women’s: USA came in second with 25 strokes behind. Team Seniors: USA won by 28 strokes:
Since 1995, Men’s team won 8 times out of 11 times, Women’s team won 6 times out of 8 times, while Seniors team won the last two times out of 3 times.
The next WDGC 2018 tournament will be held in Dublin, Ireland – July 21 – 28, 2018, it will be at the Carton House Golf Club.