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G4D Tour: Juan Postigo Arce hopes to emulate Seve Ballesteros by winning in Kenya

G4D Tour: Juan Postigo Arce hopes to emulate Seve Ballesteros by winning in Kenya

Like with so many Spanish athletes, Seve Ballesteros was a reference point to Juan Postigo Arce.

Juan Postigo Arce-1676074252

Growing up in Santander, half an hour or so from Ballesteros’ birthplace Pedreña, it was impossible not to know about the achievements of the five-time Major champion as a child.

Born without much of his right leg and no knee, Postigo Arce played several sports in his youth before he tried golf at the age of 12. A year later, he came to play at Ballesteros’ home course – Real Golf de Pedreña – for the first time.

Over his teenage years that followed, his passion for the game grew and his level progressed to a stage where he wanted to pursue it as a career.

Now one of the most successful and recognised figures in All Abilities golf, Postigo Arce is hoping to emulate Ballesteros by winning a title in Kenya at Muthaiga Golf Club, which will host the G4D Tour’s first event to be staged in Africa next week.

“To every European, Seve was such an inspiration,” he said. “All of us who grew up around here tried to follow in his footsteps.

“I know he won in Kenya (in 1978) and of his record over his career so it would be great to be able to bring the trophy back to Pedreña.”

Postigo Arce, whose manager is Ballesteros' eldest son Javier, is one of several G4D Tour winners that will contest the historic two-round tournament, which features eight players from the top ten on the Gross world rankings.

Twice a winner last season, in Abu Dhabi and Sweden, the Spaniard is teeing it up for the first time on the G4D Tour this year and relishing visiting a new country in Kenya, having twice competed in South Africa.

“It is a really exciting continent to explore,” he said ahead of the G4D Tour breaking further ground after its inaugural Net tournament last month.

“Kenya will be a different challenge to what I have experienced in South Africa I’m sure, but I am really pleased to have the opportunity to do something different alongside the golf, like going on a safari. I’m sure it will be a great week.”

After returning from the United States earlier this week where he played in the Pro-Am at the PGA TOUR’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, the 28-year-old is back putting in preparation for his upcoming event under the watchful eye of his long-time coach Santiago Carriles.

Reflecting on his time in the States, he said: “I had so much fun over there. It was a different experience from a golf perspective to the regular events on the DP World Tour, it just looked like a festival.“

Alongside other recognisable golfers with a disability like Kipp Popert and Brendan Lawlor, Postigo Arce is aware of the role he can play in inspiring people to pick up a club and try the sport – just like how Ballesteros drew so many new fans to the game.

Speaking from Real Golf de Pedreña, he said: “I am really good friends with Brendan and Kipp.

“Our main target is not for ourselves, I think. We know that by playing we can have an impact on other people’s lives.

“I receive messages every week from people and families who talk about how they have lost their leg or have another disability and how they have got into golf.

“Like with any sport, it is important for there to be people to look up to as a reference point and we are happy to play our part.

“Take tennis as an example, 15 years ago it was Rafael Nadal and now we have Carlos Alcaraz. There are many across Europe and other parts of the world and we need those type of people who can continue to have a big influence and inspire.”

Something that would help with that would be golf’s inclusion into the Paralympics – an aspiration of Postigo Arce and many within the sport.

And he is hopeful golf’s commitment to boost participation at all levels and facilitate playing opportunities for a wider spectrum of disabilities will further their cause.

Asked what his own personal ambitions in the long term are, he replied: “Obviously, we want to win Majors. We have the G4D Open and US Adaptive Open, those are two very important goals.

“From a long-term perspective, while I think we are still pretty far away from achieving it we are making the right steps forward to getting to the Paralympics.

“Whenever I retire from the game of golf, I would love to have represented Spain at least one time at the Paralympics.”

While that is something for the future, Postigo Arce is at the present playing a pivotal part in golf’s pursuit of further increasing participation across the game in a way Ballesteros did before him.

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