Jesse Florkowski won the one-arm unassisted title and Klaus Schaloske the arm assisted Thursday in the North American One-Armed Golfers Association (NAOAGA) National Championship in Mesquite, Nevada.
Florkowski defeated Xander Dobreff in match play after winning seven holes with just six remaining. Florkowski had to defeat five-time National NAOAGA Champion Vince Biser in the second round to advance after being up by two holes with one remaining. Just last month in Mesquite, Florkowski, from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, won the ParaLong Drive Nationals with a drive of 333 yards and became the first arm amputee to surpass the 300-yard mark. Dobreff is from Royal Oak, Mich.
In the arm assisted division, where players may use an orthotic device attached to the golf club, Schaloske brought home the title after overcoming an early lead by John Rogers of Apopka, Fla. Schaloske, of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, sunk a six-foot putt to claim the title after 19 holes of match play.
The NAOAGA played Falcon Ridge Golf Course in a qualifying first round on Monday, Oasis Golf Club’s Palmer Course on Tuesday in the second qualifying round. Wednesday Quaterfinal matches were played on the Oasis Golf Club’s Canyon Course and returned on Thursday to the Falcon Ridge Golf Course for the Match Play Championship rounds.
“Truly amazing golf was played by world-class athletes…certainly the best one-armed golfers in the world,” said Dan Aldrich, tournament director for 2014 NAOAGA Championship. “We thought the golf courses were scenic and memorable and everyone felt extremely welcomed by the community there in Mesquite.”
The NAOAGA has a “Never Quit” Tournament for those who failed to qualify for the Championship rounds and Prav Mathur,of Springfield, Mass., won with a net of 56 and Graham Cox, of Robina, Queensland, Australia, shot a net of 59.
In the Shootout, where the lowest and highest handicaps are paired in a scramble format, Dan Aldrich, Los Angeles, and Joe Hartley, Monterey, Calif., won with a 78 and runners-up were Graham Cox, and Alan Gentry, Louisville, with a 79.
The next disabled golf event in Mesquite will be the Mesquite NV ParaLong Drive Worlds on Oct. 16-17 and will feature some of the top blind, paramobile (paralyzed) and arm and leg amputees representing eight countries.
For additional information go to www.naoaga.com or www.facebook.com/MesquiteNVParaLongDrive.