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UPDATED: Creston's Darren Douma wins sight category in Canadian Blind Golf Open

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Creston's Darren Douma (left) with his brother and sight coach, Darcy Douma.
— image credit: Brian Lawrence

Creston golfer Darren Douma placed first in his sight category of the International Sport Promotion Society’s Handa Canadian Blind Golf Open championship, held July 9-12 at the Creston Golf Club.

Thirty-one golfers from around the world took part in the annual event, with Douma, assisted by his brother and sight coach Darcy, taking the top spot out of 12 men in the B3 category (about 10 per cent vision). His score of 179 pushed him ahead of runner-up Reg Opersko (with coach Hank Peekstok) of Waterford, Ont., who finished with 184.

Last year, he placed second in the world, Australian and Canadian blind golf championships, and competed last month on a North American team in Italy, but there was something different about Sunday’s win at home.

“It feels great and really special to win a championship on my home course, and to share the win and the overall experience with the many members that were there cheering me on and supporting blind golf in general,” said Douma, who has Stargardt disease, an incurable and rare genetic juvenile form of macular degeneration, affecting central fine vision.

Dozens of out-of-town visitors attended the event co-ordinated by Douma and a team of volunteers. Golfing got started on Friday, with a team Stableford event for golfers, sponsors, coaches, club members and volunteers. Most visitors, Douma said, stayed at the Creston Hotel and Downtowner Motor Inn, appreciating the chance to be downtown.

“Everyone loved walking up and down the streets,” he said. “They really loved the community and the stores and the people.”

The Creston Golf Club’s course, staff and volunteers also impressed the out-of-towners.

“As far as the entire competition, the most exciting part was that everything was well received and appreciated by our blind golfers,” said Douma. “Everyone was totally impressed with our golf course, its members and how well organized the event was. … We met and exceeded all expectations for this event.

“Thanks to Creston, our local sponsors, Rotary members, Lions Club members, the Creston Golf Club and its loyal membership for volunteering and hosting this great event at our club.”

 

Ladies

Low net champion: Diane Wilson (Washington, U.S.A., coach Byron Wilson), Washington, U.S.A., 155; low net runner-up: Linda Port (California, U.S.A., coach Fred Port), 158.

B2 gross champion: Johanna Camarta (Edmonton, Alta., coach Ron Camarta), 233.

B3 gross champion: Linda Port (California, U.S.A., coach Fred Port), 192.

 

Men

Low net champion: Derek Kibblewhite (Calgary, Alta., coach Chris Chambers), 140; low net runner-up: Allan Morgan (Glasgow, Scotland, coach Irene McGee), 142.

B1 gross champion: Gerry Nelson (Saskatoon, Sask., coach Chris Villeneuve), 258; B1 gross runner-up: Jim Hamilton (New Market, Ont., coach Bryan Smithson of Creston), 316.

B2 gross champion: Derek Kibblewhite (Calgary, Alta., coach Chris Chambers), 176; B2 gross runner-up: Ty Thompson (Kentucky, U.S.A., coach Dick Barnheisel), 196.

B3 gross champion: Darren Douma, (Creston, coach Darcy Douma), 179; B3 gross runner-up: Reg Opersko (Waterford, Ont., coach Hank Peekstok), 184.

Dozens of out-of-town visitors attended the event, co-ordinated by Douma and a team of volunteers. Most, he said, stayed at the Creston Hotel and Downtowner Motor Inn, appreciating the chance to be downtown.

"Everyone loved walking up and down the streets," he said. "They really loved the community and the stores and the people."

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