Inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open to feature Knoxville-based golfer
It started in 1999 when Alex Fourie’s adopted parents introduced him to golf. Now, he’s the second-best one-armed golfer in America.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knoxville native Alex Fourie was born without an arm but didn’t let that stop him from living his dreams.
This determination led him to qualify for the first-ever U.S. Adaptive Open.
It started in 1999 when Fourie’s adopted parents introduced him to golf. Now, he’s the second-best one-armed golfer in America.
“Life is hard every day,” said Fourie. “But you just have to overcome and you have to push through.”
The Knoxville-based golfer held on to that perspective his whole life. Fourie was born without an arm, a cleft palate, and a cleft lip.
“The doctors said it was a direct result of Chernobyl,” Fourie said. “My mom drank the water and the radiation was in the water from the river. That’s their best guess.”
However, Fourie didn’t let this hold him back in life.
His passion and dedication to the game led him to the first-ever U.S. Adaptive Open.
“Disabled golf organizations have worked so hard to propel disabled golf out of the shadows. We’re grateful for the USGA for partnering with us and creating this huge event, that’s worldwide,” said Fourie.
Fourie was one of 75 men who qualified to compete in the tournament.
“It’s an honor to represent America and Ukraine,” he said.
When the war between Russia and Ukraine broke out, he began representing Ukraine in a different way.
“It’s been really, really hard,” said Fourie.
Fourie described his internal struggle when deciding how to help, “To be honest I wanted to go over there and I knew the best way to help with Ukraine is to not go over there. But to bring awareness as to what’s going on and get other people to help.”
His organization, Single Hand Golf raised $32,000 to support the Ukrainian efforts. Something he wouldn’t have been able to do at this scale if he didn’t overcome his own battles.
“Golf is probably the hardest sport I could’ve picked,” said Fourie. “And golf is kind of like life, it gives you great rewards but you have to work for it.”
Fourie is set to compete in this inaugural championship tournament starting Friday, July 15 through Sunday, July 18 at Pinehurst.
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