Mills leads all the way for Blind Open triumph

Michelle Watts
Michelle Watts drives on her way to a share of the women's title at Rosebud.

Sydney’s Rod Mills has turned in a superb performance to win the 2018 ISPS Handa Blind Golf Open at Victoria’s Rosebud Country Club.

Mills, who plays at Barnwell Park Golf Club, led from start to finish and his second-round 67 nett, on top of Thursday’s opening 66, was comfortably enough to snare the national title by seven strokes from fellow New South Welshman Graham Coulton.

And once again, Mills took full advantage of his hot putter. He holed a 5ft putt on the fifth, followed by a 15-footer on the sixth and another 15-footer on the seventh to effectively secure the title from the fast-finishing Coulton who shot Friday’s best round.

Coulton’s nett 63 was good enough to carve through the field after his opening 77 and he also took out the tournament’s B2 classification. 

Among the women, Western Australia’s Jenny McCallum also rattled home and did just enough to claw back a four-shot deficit to finish locked with Michelle Watts, of New South Wales, on a nett 155 total.

Scoring on both days was nothing short of extraordinary, with all of the competitors having little to no vision.

Blind golf is not modified in any way apart from some small tweaks to the rules of golf through the R&A’s Modified Rules for Golfers with a Disability.

Graham Coulton
Graham Coulton's caddie lines up his drive on a way to a stunning 63 at Rosebud.

The game heavily relies on caddies to assist players navigate the course with, help club selections and lining them up – a few of the many tasks involved.

Players and officials combined afterwards to offer a huge thanks to the host Rosebud Golf Club and its members for their incredible support in what was a truly inspiring event. 

Final leading scores:

Rod Mills (NSW) 66 67

Graham Coulton (NSW) 77 63

Doug Burrows (WA) 70 75

Michelle Watts (NSW) 72 83

Jenny McCallum (WA) 76 79

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