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The 13th annual Special Olympics North America Golf Invitational Tournament will kick off Thursday at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Arizona. The event runs September 6-9 and 26 SOTX athletes are among the 200 Special Olympics participants set to compete in several different levels.  Level I competition consists of an individual skills contest, where six golf skills are tested. Level II is an alternate shot team play, where a Special Olympics athlete is paired with a non-Special Olympics partner of more advanced skill for a 9-hole competition. Level III is Unified Sports® team play, pairing Special Olympics and Unified partners of similar ability for an 18-hole competition. Levels IV and V are individual stroke play 9-hole and 18-hole competitions, respectively.


Level 1 


Athletes Cole Wells and Adam Young - Greater Dallas area


Level II


Athletes Shannon Wilkinson and Josh Dowden and their Unified Partners, Marty Smith and Kent Dowden - Greater Dallas area


Unified Partner Bill McLendon and athlete James Michael Badger - Greater Fort Worth area


Athlete Stacy Brown and Unified Partner, Bill Brown - Greater Houston area


Level III

Athlete Steven Hirschman and Unified Partner, Alan Hirschman - Greater Houston area


Athlete Blaine Hardin and Unified Partner, Dean Hardin - Greater Dallas area


L to R front row: Athletes Michael Gallagher, Tim Braun and Jonathan Blackmon
L to R second row: Coach Bill Gallagher, Michael's caddie; Dave Braun, Tim's caddie; and John McCulley, Jonathan's Unified Partner -
Greater Dallas area


Level IV


Athletes Erika Johnson, Buddy Randall and Doug Sullivan and Doug's caddie, Jo Keeney - Greater Dallas area


Athlete Kevin Harrell and his caddie, Jim Hodges - Greater Houston area


Level V

Athletes Chris Holmes and Miles Stroud, and Assistant Golf Coach Joe Stroud, Miles' caddie - Greater Houston area


Athlete Kyle Butts - San Antonio area


Athlete Blair Claghorn - Greater Houston area

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