It’s been a rather successful summer for Humber College student and golfer Natasha Stasiuk.
The Developmental Services Worker student returned home in June from the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin with a bronze medal in golf. Stasiuk, who is living with autism, missed out on second place and the silver medal by just two strokes.
Fresh off her success at the World Games, Stasiuk travelled to North Carolina for the second annual U.S. Adaptive Open Championship. It was a solid showing for Stasiuk who finished tied for fourth overall and was just three strokes off a third-place finish.
She also won the intellectual impairment women division and that gives her an exemption into next year’s tournament.
Last year, as the only Canadian woman golfer competing at the inaugural Adaptive Open, Stasiuk finished fifth.
Days after returning from the United States, Stasiuk was back on the links again at the Weston Golf and Country Club to successfully defend her title at the 2023 Ontario Adaptive Championship. She had won in 2022 and clinched the 2023 title after shooting 176 over two days.
“I am really happy with all my wins this year. Breaking my ankle in March was a real setback so I wasn’t sure what would happen,” she said. “I am really honoured to win the Ontario Adaptive Open for the fifth time and playing it at the Weston Golf Club was special since that’s where Arnold Palmer won for the first time as a professional. The USGA Adaptive Open was also super exciting. I got to represent my country and meet players from all over the world. All of my wins are special. I am very lucky.”
She also competed in the Brightspot Unified Challenge. It's a multi-day golf event that brings together championship level golfers from the First Tee and Special Olympics and wounded veterans.
Last year, Stasiuk was on the winning team. Her mother, Sandra Stasiuk, said this year was the closest finish in the event’s history as both Stasiuk’s team and her opponents tied, sending the match into a playoff. Stasiuk made the putt on the first playoff hole to send it to a shootout where the closest to the pin would win. The other team would go on to claim victory.
“Exciting to say the least,” said Sandra.
Stasiuk recently was notified she has been invited to play in the Special Olympics North America Championship in New Jersey this October. That’s after she returns home from Kamloops where she will be defending her title at the 2023 Canadian All Abilities Championship in September.