TRURO - The world blind golf championship has always found a way to elude Brian MacLeod.
It did so again Monday as the 53-year-old Salmon River resident was forced to withdraw from the 36-hole event with back spasms after just nine holes at Truro Golf Club.
"I didn't want to do it. I feel almost embarrassed, like I quit," MacLeod said in the clubhouse as the rest of the 54-player field continued on.
But MacLeod didn't have much choice in the matter. The injury happened on the ninth hole as his eight-iron dug too deeply into the turf and jarred his back. He felt it immediately and took a moment to try to walk off the discomfort. But when he bent over the ball to set up for his next shot, the pain returned.
"That's when it hurt and it just made my knees buckle," MacLeod said, his face still showing signs of the pain in his back.
He made four attempts to hit the shot, but his efforts were in vain.
"I couldn't hold up my group and I couldn't hold up the whole field to try and get over it," he said. "I just couldn't hit the shot and I knew even if I finished that hole I had nine more to go and there was no way I could play with my back doing that."
The development is especially disappointing as MacLeod felt this was his best chance at winning that elusive world crown. The event was on his home turf and he was coming in after firing a tournament-low 99 in the final round of the Canadian Blind Open last week at Mountain Golf and Country Club.
MacLeod looked poised to finish the front nine at 54 or 55. Couple that with his typical score around 50 on the homestretch and he would have been in contention going into today's final round.
"Not to be able to finish this one is pretty disappointing," he said. "I was building on that 99 the other day thinking everything was going to come together."
MacLeod's coach Kevin Lemmon, agreed.
"It's disappointing in that we were looking forward to it for two years and the opportunity to play here was huge," the Dartmouth resident said. "We had home-field advantage and to not finish is disappointing but there will be other championships."
Italy's Andrea Calcaterra shot 43-over par 114 Monday to lead the B1 division for golfers with no sight, while former world champion Zohar Sharon of Israel is four strokes behind. Saskatoon's Gerry Nelson (122) is third.
England's Pieta LeRoux sits atop the B2 division after carding 8-over 79. Ron Plath of Lake Oswego, Ore., is five strokes back with Jeremy Poincenot (86), also of the United States, in third.
Austria's Kurt Lirussi leads the B3 division, thanks to shooting 12-over 83 Monday. Harry Hester of the United States is hot on his heels, one stroke back, while Scotland's Allister Reid (87) is third.