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BLIND GOLFERS TO TEE UP AGAINST TOUR PROFESSIONALS

BLIND GOLFERS TO TEE UP AGAINST TOUR PROFESSIONALS AT HANDA SINGAPORE CLASSIC
 
Singapore, September 6: Three blind golfers representing the International Blind Golf Association (IBGA) will be testing their skills against the Asian Tour professionals in a three-hole blind golf challenge during the inaugural Handa Singapore Classic that tees off at the Orchid Country Club on Thursday.
 
The three-hole blind golf challenge is an initiative driven by the International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS) Chairman Dr. Haruhisa Handa, who aims to raise awareness for blind golf through his sponsorship of the Handa Singapore Classic.
 
A stellar line-up of players including Asia’s number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing will battle for top honours at the US$400,000 event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Singapore Professional Golf Association.
 
The official charity for the event is the International Blind Golf Association (IBGA), which has built a close collaboration with ISPS through the support which Dr Handa provides for blind golf around the world.  
 
“ISPS wants to encourage more juniors, seniors and people with disabilities to get involved with golf.  We have a very strong relationship with the blind golf community and it has been a passion of mine to help foster the development of this format of the sport across the world,” said Dr Handa.
 
“It is really important that everyone can enjoy the sport regardless of their age or ability.  Blind golfers are an inspiration to me and professional players alike.  They understand the course in different ways and it’s amazing to see them strike the ball so well”.
 
The three blind golfers competing in the challenge are David Blyth (Australia), Chairman of the IBGA, Neil Baxter (England), Deputy Chairman of the IBGA, and Yam TW (Malaysia).  
 
The trio will be paired with an Asian Tour professional who will be blind folded in the challenge which is played based on the Texas Scramble format.
 
“The IBGA is delighted to be the official charity for the Handa Singapore Classic”, said David Blyth.  “We are extremely grateful to Dr Handa and ISPS for their continued support and to the Asian Tour for setting up this challenge to help raise the profile of blind golf.  The challenge will be great fun and a good competition with the pros which we hope will encourage more people into the sport”
 
Singapore-based Unho Park has already been confirmed as one of the Asian Tour professionals to play in the blind-golf challenge and the Australian who recently enjoyed a top-20 finish in Brunei last month is looking forward to the new challenge that will take place at the Aranda course on Tuesday.
 
“I’m happy to play my part in promoting blind golf as I strongly believe that golf should be a game enjoyed by all. I applaud Dr. Handa’s support for the blind community and hope we can raise more awareness and encourage more people with visual impairment into the sport,” said Park.

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