U.S. Adaptive Open to Welcome Global Field to Pinehurst

By Julia Pine, USGA

| May 18, 2022 | LIBERTY CORNER, N.J.

U.S. Adaptive Open to Welcome Global Field to Pinehurst

U.S. Adaptive Open Home

The full field for the inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open – a new national championship that will showcase the world’s best golfers with disabilities on Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 6 from July 18-20 – has been set by the USGA. 

The USGA received 299 entries for the 2022 U.S. Adaptive Open’s 96-player field, and the field includes competitors from 29 states and 12 countries. The championship’s youngest competitor is 15-year-old Sophia Howard from Hudsonville, Mich. Judith Brush, 80, of Alexandria, Va., is the championship's oldest player. 

“We are thrilled by the level of interest and support that we’ve received from the adaptive community for the inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open,” said John Bodenhamer, chief championships officer for the USGA. “To receive nearly 300 entries from around the world underscores the passion of these athletes who are seeking the opportunity to compete for a national championship.”

A player’s individual Handicap Index® was the primary factor in determining the field, with the USGA reserving at least five male player spots and two female player spots per impairment category. 

Dennis Walters, 72, of Jupiter, Fla., who received the 2018 Bob Jones Award, the USGA’s highest honor, will join 11 other golfers who qualified in the seated player impairment category. Walters has turned the tragedy of being paralyzed from the waist down at age 24 from a golf-cart accident into a personal mission to teach golf and life lessons to a worldwide audience.

Amy Bockerstette, 23, of Phoenix, Ariz., who has a close relationship with 2019 U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland, will compete in the intellectual impairment category. Bockerstette, a disabilities advocate, founded the I Got This Foundation to provide golf instruction, playing opportunities and organized events for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

Chris Biggins, the director of player development at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.), who was born with cerebral palsy, will compete in the neurological impairment category. The Country Club of Birmingham is the site of the 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, with the championship’s 18-hole final round being contested today. 

“Competing in an official USGA championship has been a dream of mine for years and now that dream will be coming to fruition,” said Biggins. “This event will attract the best golfers from around the world to compete on an incredible course, Pinehurst No. 6. It is an honor to compete in this historic event and help pave the way for the growth of disabled golf.”

The championship is open to both male and female professional and amateur golfers with a World Handicap System™ Handicap Index® of 36.4 or less and an eligible impairment confirmed by a WR4GD Pass. A player’s Handicap Index was the primary factor for determining the field of 96 players, with at least five male players and two female players across eight impairment categories. The impairment categories are as follows:

  • Arm Impairment

  • Intellectual Impairment

  • Leg Impairment

  • Multiple Limb Amputee

  • Neurological Impairment

  • Seated Players

  • Short Stature

  • Vision Impairment 

The championship will be contested over 54 holes of stroke play. Multiple sets of tees will be utilized. Carts will be permitted for all players and caddies. The 96-player field is as follows:

Trevor Arnone, of Lewiston, Idaho, 34, Short Stature
Kurtis Barkley, of Canada, 34, Short Stature
Brian Bemis, of Lansing, Mich., 48, Leg Impairment
Adam Benza, of Hellertown, Pa., 35, Leg Impairment
Andrew Berglund, of Stillwater, Minn., 22, Intellectual Impairment
Chris Biggins, of Birmingham, Ala., 30, Neurological Impairment
Jeremy Bittner, of Pittsburgh, Pa., 33, Leg Impairment
Joakim Bjorkman, of Sweden, 32, Short Stature
Wayne Blankenship, of Union, Mo., 52, Leg Impairment
Amy Bockerstette, of Phoenix, Ariz., 23, Intellectual Impairment
Jack Bonifant, of Kensington, Md., 32, Neurological Impairment
Kenny Bontz, of Parrish, Fla., 52, Leg Impairment
Erik Bowen, of Oakland, Calif., 42, Multiple Limb Amputee
Albert Bowker, of Buellton, Calif., 25, Short Stature
Grace Anne Braxton, of Fredericksburg, Va., 50, Intellectual Impairment
Ryan Brenden, of Pierce, Neb., 46, Leg Impairment
Carlos Brown, of Mckinney, Texas, 42, Leg Impairment
Mike Browne, of England, 44, Leg Impairment
Judith Brush, of Alexandria, Va., 80, Leg Impairment
Brandon Canesi, of Doral, Fla., 30, Multiple Limb Amputee
Luke Carroll, of Old Hickory, Tenn., 17, Neurological Impairment
Lawrence Celano, of Chandler, Ariz., 53, Seated Players
Amanda Cunha, of Kaneohe, Hawaii, 18, Vision Impairment
Ryan Cutter, of Helena, Mont., 31, Multiple Limb Amputee
Mario Dino, of Denver, Colo., 19, Neurological Impairment
Zachary Duncan, of Cornelius, N.C., 22, Intellectual Impairment
Spencer Easthope, of Canada, 40, Neurological Impairment
Conor Ennis, of Wake Forest, N.C., 31, Short Stature
Jesse Florkowski, of Canada, 32, Arm Impairment
Alex Fourie, of Knoxville, Tenn., 29, Arm Impairment
Billy Fryar, of Bigelow, Ark., 50, Seated Players
Patrick Garrison, of Folsom, Pa., 38, Neurological Impairment
Ken Green, of West Palm Beach, Fla., 63, Leg Impairment
Zachary Grove, of York, Pa., 36, Neurological Impairment
Mauricio Gutiérrez, of Mexico, 47, Seated Players
Ann Hayes, Lee, of Mass., 59, Seated Players
Joseph (Joey) Hill, of Tampa, Fla., 22, Intellectual Impairment
Greg Hollingsworth, of Peck, Kan., 53, Leg Impairment
Sophia Howard, of Hudsonville, Mich., 15, Arm Impairment
Ryanne Jackson, of St. Petersburg, Fla., 24, Neurological Impairment
Han Jeongwon, of Republic of Korea, 51, Leg Impairment
Lucas Jones, of Louisville, Ky., 27, Leg Impairment
Kiefer Jones, of Canada, 32, Vision Impairment
Shigeru Kobayashi, of Japan, 66, Leg Impairment
Masato Koyamada, of Japan, 55, Arm Impairment
Sarah Beth Larson, of Green Bay, Wis., 43, Arm Impairment
Cynthia Lawrence, of Lehigh Acres, Fla., 59, Multiple Limb Amputee
Simon Lee, of South Korea, 25, Intellectual Impairment
Yangwoo Lee, of South Korea, 24, Intellectual Impairment
Cedric Lescut, of Belgium, 43, Leg Impairment
Rasmus Lia, of Sweden, 21, Leg Impairment
Michael Madsen, of Meridian, Idaho, 41, Leg Impairment
Tommy Marks, of Danville, Pa., 42, Vision Impairment
Evan Mathias, of Indianapolis, Ind., 26, Multiple Limb Amputee
Joseph McCarron, of Orange Beach, Ala., 59, Vision Impairment
Sean Mitchell, of Spokane, Wash., 32, Leg Impairment
Kim Moore, of Portage, Mich., 41, Leg Impairment
Austin Morris, of Bend, Ore., 34, Arm Impairment
Felix Norrman, of Sweden, 25, Intellectual Impairment
Jake Olson, of Huntington Beach, Calif., 25, Vision Impairment
Elaine Ostrovsky, of Boca Raton, Fla., 49, Neurological Impairment
Wooshik Park, of South Korea, 63, Leg Impairment
William Pease, of St. Augustine, Fla., 58, Vision Impairment
Steven Pennell, of Jefferson, N.C., 44, Multiple Limb Amputee
Chad Pfeifer, of Caldwell, Idaho, 40, Leg Impairment
Jeremy Poincenot, of Carlsbad, Calif., 32, Vision Impairment
Kipp Popert, of England, 24, Neurological Impairment
Krystian Pushka, of Canada, 31, Intellectual Impairment
Tracy Ramin, of Montrose, Mich., 50, Leg Impairment
Trevor Reich, of South Africa, 58, Leg Impairment
Stacey Rice, of Suwanee, Ga., 59, Leg Impairment
Brandon Rowland, of Jackson, Tenn., 41, Multiple Limb Amputee
Mandi Sedlak, of Kearney, Neb., 42, Leg Impairment
Randy Shack, of Sulphar Springs, Texas, 38, Seated Players
Steven Shipuleski, of Plainfield, Conn., 51, Arm Impairment
Douglas Shirakura, of Somers, N.Y., 20, Leg Impairment
Rasmus Skov løt, of Denmark, 21, Arm Impairment
Deborah Smith, of Rockford, Ill., 60, Leg Impairment
Jonathan Snyder, of Charlotte, N.C., 40, Arm Impairment
Natasha Stasiuk, of Canada, 24, Intellectual Impairment
Conor Stone, of Ireland, 27, Arm Impairment
Joshua Tankersley, of Fort Worth, Texas, 36, Leg Impairment
Jordan Thomas, of Nashville, Tenn., 33, Multiple Limb Amputee
Mariano Tubio, of Argentina, 42, Seated Players
Kellie Valentine, of McKean, Pa., 51, Arm Impairment
Kevin Valentine, of Winter Garden, Fla., 48, Leg Impairment
Patti Valero, of Brandon, Fla., 59, Leg Impairment
Eliseo Villanueva, of Fort Bragg, N.C., 55, Arm Impairment
Adem Wahbi, of Belgium, 23, Neurological Impairment
Cathy Walch, of Buford, Ga., 56, Arm Impairment
Robert Walden, of Queen Creek, Ariz., 50, Arm Impairment
Dennis Walters, of Jupiter, Fla., 72, Seated Players
David Watts, of South Africa, 34, Leg Impairment
Joshua Williams, of Canada, 37, Leg Impairment
Hayato Yoshida, of Japan, 38, Leg Impairment
Peyton Zins, of Indianapolis, Ind., 20, Neurological Impairment