Amputee golf's most prestigious tournament will crown its champion in Lincoln this August.
The 65th annual National Amputee Golf Open Championship is coming to Nebraska for the first time. More than 100 amputee golfers from around the world are expected to compete at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course in south Lincoln.
The three-day tournament runs Aug. 13 through 15 and totals 54 holes on Wilderness Ridge's 7,100-yard, par-71 course. Overall, Ladies and Senior divisions will name winners in addition to subdivisions based on the type of amputation: above-knee, below-knee, above-elbow, below-elbow and multiple.
The International Cup, similar in format to the PGA Ryder Cup, with eight domestic golfers facing eight international golfers, will also be awarded in Lincoln during tournament week. Participants from Australia, Japan and South Africa have competed in the past and are expected to return this year.
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital and the Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau submitted a bid for the tournament in 2011, hoping that Lincoln's central location and Madonna's support would convince the National Amputee Golfers Association to come to Nebraska. Katy Martin, a member services manager at Madonna who is helping plan the event, said the event's prestige makes it “the U.S. Open for amputees.”
“We're hoping that it helps to create awareness for someone who has lost a limb,” Martin said. “We want to let them know they can do anything.”
Thirty golfers have already signed up, but Martin expects 100 or more when the tournament tees off. If the event is successful, she said they will try to host it in 2016.
“We will show the golfers here a great tournament,” Martin said. “They'll want to come back.”
Registration for the tournament is $250, with a deadline of June 5 and a late registration period until July 31. Other events, such as the International Cup and the Sponsor Scramble, a team tournament, require a separate registration fee.
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