Natasha Stasiuk wins third Straight Title and Chris Willis wins in Playoff at 2023 Canadian all Abilities Championship
Kamloops, B.C. – Natasha Stasiuk and Chris Willis earned wire-to-wire victories at the third playing of the Canadian All Abilities Championship, presented by BDO at the Kamloops Golf and Country Club in Kamloops, B.C on Friday.
In the Women’s Gross Stroke Play Championship, Stasiuk of Oakville, Ont. earned her third straight national championship, finishing at 28-over following rounds of 85 and 87 to win by 16 strokes ahead of runner-up Tess Trojan of St. Catharines, Ont. (95-93 – 188). Emma Bittorf of Strathmore, Alta. finished third (95-101 – 196). Stasiuk has enjoyed quite the season as she also won the Ontario Adaptive Championship in July for a fifth time.
“Pretty amazing that I can do it three times now and nice to have more competition. It was great to have another girl, even though I love playing with Tess, but it was nice to have more people,” said Stasiuk after her round on Friday.
Another three-time champion was crowned in the Women’s Net Stableford competition as Trojan edged out Bittorf in a close battle. Trojan earned 34 points on Friday to finish with 67 stableford points, to win by two over Bittorf (65 points), Stasiuk finished third with 57 points.
In the Men’s Gross Stroke Play Championship, a playoff was required and Chris Willis of Aurora, Ont. beat Dustin Boydell of Chilliwack, B.C. on the first playoff hole with a 15-foot putt for eagle to win the national championship.
“It’s really special. When I was young I didn’t compete as hard as I would have liked because of my disabilities, kind of kept me from playing high level hockey or soccer or golf and it was only really in my late 20’s and early 30’s that my brother and I started to play tournament golf together and we played in a couple Canadian amateurs, Canadian mid-ams and Ontario’s and he encouraged me to do the disability golf. I signed up for the Ontario’s and just three days before the Ontario’s my father passed away and my family was away at that time, but they all convinced me to continue and play and I did well. I had a special round the first round and I met Kurtis [Barkley] and sort of discovered this whole disability golf world. Since then, I’ve played in the British Open and the U.S. Adaptive and just watching how all the competitors take it so seriously and really enjoy fighting and competing and the high quality of play, especially amongst the top players it’s quite remarkable. So, I feel very proud and honoured to win a national championship and to do it against such great competition,” said Willis following the playoff win.
Willis and Boydell battled back-and-forth throughout Friday’s final round and both men birdied 18 to send the championship to a playoff. Willis finished the tournament at 2-over (68-78 – 146) as did Boydell (69-77 – 146). Willis matches Stasiuk as he also won the 2023 Ontario Adaptive Championship in July. Craig Dowling of Vancouver finished third at 4-over (76-72 – 148), Keifer Jones of Calgary, finished 5-over (75-74 – 149) for fourth and Jesse Florkowski of Medicine Hat, Alta. finished 6-over (78-72 – 150) to round out the top-five.
In the Men’s Net Stableford competition, a new winner has been crowned as Patrick Griffin of Leduc, Alta. earned 41 points on Friday to finish with a combined 83 stableford points. Griffin finished eight points clear of Rod Reimer of Thorndale, Ont. (75 points). Walter Vanderrijst of Victoria, B.C. (74 points), Craig Dowling of Vancouver (73 points) along with Josh Hunke of Wilmot, Ont. (70 points), and Kevin Delaney of Windsor, Ont. (70 points) round out the top-five.
A field of 43 players, regardless of disability classification, competed over 36-holes in four different divisions in the national championship: Women’s Gross Stroke Play; Women’s Net Stableford; Men’s Gross Stroke Play; and Men’s Net Stableford.
The third playing of the national championship featured competitors from Canada and the United States with neurological, intellectual, sensory, and physical impairments. First conducted in 2021 at Humber Valley Golf Course in Toronto, Ont., the competition supports Golf Canada’s commitment to create a more inclusive and respectful sport environment across the Canadian golf community.
For the final leaderboard following the 2023 Canadian All Abilities Championship, presented by BDO, please click here.
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