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Scott Rohrer has been playing golf since he was 7.
Now 23, he collected his sixth gold medal in the Level V 18-hole individual stroke play competition at the 2012 Special Olympics North America Golf Invitational Tournament.
Rohr has claimed gold in six out of seven appearances at the tournament, which was played Sept. 7-9 at The Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Ariz. Rohrer shot 83-77-86 in the 54-hole competition – for an overall score of 246 on the par-72 Gold course.
Rohrer, who has autism, was among 203 golfers from 19 programs representing the United States and Canada. They competed in five levels of competition at the 13th annual tournament for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
Rohrer, the son of Jeff and Elizabeth Rohrer of York, said he plays golf with his father about twice a week at the River Hills Country Club in Lake Wylie. And, he’s never had a golf lesson.
“I didn’t have to show him how to swing a golf club. He took off, just naturally had a beautiful swing,” Jeff Rohrer said last week, as the family was returning home from the competition in Arizona.
Scott Rohrer, who played Blue Eagle golf for four years when he was a student at Clover High School, has made local headlines for his golf performance before.
He was the record-making gold medalist at the 2010 Special Olympics National Golf Invitational Tournament when he shot the 18-hole and 54-hole individual stroke play record of 71-75-75, with an overall score of 221, at the Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln, Neb.
At this Special Olympics national tournament level, Rohrer has won three gold medals – in 2007, 2009 and 2011 – in Level III 18-hole Unified Sports team play with his father, Jeff, as his partner.
He also won two golf medals – in 2012 and 2010 – in Level V 18-hole individual stroke play; and one gold medal in Level IV nine-hole individual stroke play in 2005. He did not play at this level in 2006 and was disqualified in 2008.
Scott Rohrer attributed part of his success to the practice he gets at the River Hills County Club course.
“It’s a really hard course,” he said.
Jeff Rohrer owns Rohrer Tree Care, and said his son works for the company. When Scott was younger, Jeff Rohrer said, the family was told he would likely do best at an individual sport.
“He really loves to play; he loves the competition,” Jeff Rohrer said. “It’s something that he really focuses on. And when he’s playing golf, most people don’t even realize he’s autistic because he’s so into the game. So that’s why he has been so successful. And he gets to play on a regular basis, and for anybody who plays golf, that’s a key.”
Scott Rohrer said he likes long-distance drives the best. “It’s easier,” he said.
Jeff Rohrer said his son also likes winning, especially when he’s competing against his dad.
“He loves to compete against me and, even more so, loves when he beats me,” he said.