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Lone Kansan in field enjoying US Adaptive Open at Sand Creek Station

Lone Kansan in field enjoying US Adaptive Open at Sand Creek Station

NEWTON, Kan. — Hosting an Adaptive Open is unlike any of the other U.S. Golf Association championships.

When dealing with athletes who have visual impairment or are seated no matter where they are on a golf course, it takes a unique golf course to be able to handle those challenges and provide a fair test for all.

Monday kicked off the third U.S. Adaptive Open at Sand Creek Station in Kansas, about half an hour north of Wichita. It’s the first time the championship has hit the road, after the first two editions were at Pinehurst No. 6 in North Carolina. The next two years, the championship will head back to Woodmont Country Club in Maryland.

U.S. Adaptive Open: Videos | Photos | Men’s scoring | Women’s scoring

Moving the championship around the U.S. allows some athletes to have chances to play closer to home. In Kirk Holmberg’s case, Sand Creek Station is a de facto home game. He lives 30 minutes west of Newton in Hutchinson and hit the opening tee shot on the 10th hole Monday morning.

Nick Kimmel plays a shot on the 16th hole during the first round of the 2024 U.S. Adaptive Open at Sand Creek Station in Newton, Kansas on Monday, July 8, 2024. (Jeff Haynes/USGA)

“Staying at home, get to sleep in my own bed, which is good,” Holmberg, who is competing in the Neurological Impairment category, said.

Holmberg is a member at Crazy Horse in Hutchinson, but he has played Sand Creek Station numerous times this year. The course, which also hosted the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links, is one he is familiar with, even if he didn’t start how he wanted to.

With his son caddying for him, and his wife and golfing friends following along, Holmberg started his U.S. Adaptive Open with an 81, but he finished his day strong with six straight pars.

U.S. Adaptive Open: Scenes from the opening round

“I wish I would’ve represented a little bit better, but it was really neat to have it here this close (to home) right here in my backyard,” he said.

After the opening day of play, 2023 overall men’s champion Kipp Popert from England (neurological impairment) leads the way after an opening 7-under 65. He leads by two over Spain’s Juan Postigo (lower limb impairment). Ten men’s players shot under par in the opening round.

On the women’s side, only one golfer is in red figures after the first round: Bailey Bish from Arizona (neurological impairment). She opened in 3-under 69 and has a six-shot lead over the first two Adaptive Open champions, Kim Moore…


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