by Steve Bruce
Scott Rohrer of Team South Carolina added a third gold medal to his trophy case on July 5 with a 14-stroke margin of victory in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games golf competition held at Willows Run in Redmond, Wash.
“This win was a lot of fun,” said Rohrer. “The third win is definitely a charm.”
Rohrer shot an impressive one over par on the final day of competition in the Level 5 High Performance bracket played on the Eagle’s Talon course. After three days of competition, he was 14 strokes ahead of his nearest competitor. Rohrer is now a three time Special Olympics Gold Medalist in golf having won in Nebraska and New Jersey at the last two USA Games.
The single most exciting shot of the week, however, belonged to 53-year-old Dennis Gaines, a Unified* partner with Team Kentucky playing with his stepson John Mullins in the Level 3 competition. Gaines aced the 115-yard seventh hole with a gap wedge – a shot that helped them to finish third and bring home the bronze medal.
Other division winners included:
Level 1: Jessica Johnson, South Carolina; Anthony Beauchaine, North Carolina.
Level 2*: Stacy Brown & Patricia Matthews, Texas; Kimberlee Buter & Susan Buter, Alabama; Beverly Magee & Megan Magee, Florida; Chad Stancil & Jared Stancil, Florida; Corin Shields & John Shields, Northern California; Bill Rosenthal & Justin Rosenthal, Mississippi; William Mullican & William Reuter, Texas; Heather Sossamon & Harlan Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Level 3*: Paul Rogers & William Andrews, Tennessee; David Fullenkamp and Conner Hoyt, Indiana; Paul Lonczak and Joseph Siravo, Rhode Island; Steven Summerfelt & Steven Summerfelt, Sr., Maryland; Michael Grimes & William Grimes, Texas.
Level 4: Kenyatta Johnson, Florida; Tyson Strobel, Southern California; Andro Keck, North Carolina; Aryeh Cramer, Northern California; Danny Dasis, Mississippi; Miguel McCoy, Washington.
Level 5: Anthony Salvati, Florida; Jeremiah Doane, Tennessee; Jacob Luttrell, Florida; Kyle Aragon, Southern California.
Level 5, High Performance Stroke Play: Scott Rohrer, South Carolina; Garrett Stortz, Alaska; Miles Stroud, Texas; Grace Braxton, Virginia.
Level 1 is individual Sport Competition, Level 2 and 3 are Unified Sport Alternative Shots and Level 4 and 5 are Individual Skills Competition at 27 and 54 holes respectively.
*Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. Unified formats are dedicated to promoting social inclusion through competitive experiences.
(Editor’s note: this article appeared on Special Olympics USA Games website, and is used by permission.)