By: Dan Pino
WINDSOR, Ont. – The Canadian All Abilities Championship, presented by BDO, heads to Essex Golf and Country Club this week to celebrate the second playing of the now-annual championship.
With international competitors permitted to take part this year following restrictions in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the field will expand to feature 39 golfers from Canada and the United States.
The national golf championship will be contested September 13-14 as a 36-hole competition and will feature players with neurological, intellectual, sensory, and physical impairments. First held in 2021 at Humber Valley Golf Course, the competition supports Golf Canada’s commitment to create a more inclusive and respectful sport environment across the Canadian golf community.
“We are extremely proud to host the Canadian All Abilities Championship, a signature event on Golf Canada’s calendar that demonstrates our ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Golf Canada Director of Rules and Championships, Mary Beth McKenna. “Essex Golf and Country Club will prove to be an excellent test for our talented competitors, and we look forward to an exciting competition ahead.”
There are four different divisions in the Canadian All Abilities Championship that players will compete in, regardless of disability classification: Women’s Gross Stroke Play; Women’s Net Stableford; Men’s Gross Stroke Play; and Men’s Net Stableford.
Williamsburg, Ont., product Kurtis Barkley will return to defend his title in the Men’s Gross Stroke Play division. The 34-year-old is currently ranked no. 6 on the World Ranking for Golfers with Disabilities (WR4GD) and carded the lowest score in last years tournament at 3-under 67. Barkley, who is a member at Cedar Glen Golf Course, also claimed victory at the 2022 Ontario Disability Championship back in July.
2021 Women’s Gross Stroke Play champion Natasha Stasiuk will also make her way to Essex Golf and Country Club to compete for a chance at back-to-back victories. Like Barkley, the Oakville, Ont. resident came out on top of her division at the 2022 Ontario Disability Championship.
2021 Canadian All Abilities Women’s Net Stableford champion Tess Trojan will also return to the field to compete in the second playing of the championship in Windsor.
Essex Golf and Country Club was designed by renowned golf course architect Donald Ross and played host to the Canadian Open in 1976 won by Jerry Pate. In 1998 the club also hosted the world’s finest female golfers by staging one of the four “Majors” on the LPGA tour, the du Maurier Classic, won by Brandie Burton. This year, the club celebrates its 120th year of operation.
As part of Golf Canada’s commitment to create a more inclusive and respectful sport environment, the national sport federation in concert with the PGA of Canada has also launched the EDGA 359 Pilot Project, partnering with EDGA (formerly the European Disabled Golf Association) on coach training designed to demystify adaptive golf and give coaches the confidence needed to launch and develop programs for golfers with disabilities across Canada. More information about the EDGA 359 Pilot Project is available here.
More information about the 2022 Canadian All Abilities Championship can be found here.