A Wodonga-based former defence force member has been selected to represent Australia overseas.
Cam McCormack will contest the Clyde Pearce Cup, which is named after the first native-born winner of the Australian Open, who was killed in World War I.
Next month’s event will be held at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, which hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Now in its fourth year, the tournament is a charity-organised event, run by Soldier On Australia and Britain’s Battle Back Golf, which help to secure the futures of those who’ve served.
Ten golfers from each country will have been impacted by their service.
McCormack developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and while he didn’t wish to elaborate on the two incidents which triggered it, he was extremely candid on its ongoing impact.
He spent seven years in the Navy, leaving in 2011, which included stints in Iraq and East Timor in 2006.
“I’m 34 and I’ll never work again,” McCormack said.
“Some days I feel worthless, you question your self-worth.
“If I did go to work, even if it’s one to two days a week, I couldn’t commit to it, I don’t know how I would wake up each day.
“I’ve been on antidepressants for eight or nine years.
“I know my partner ‘Kell’s’ (Kelly Hogan) just amazing with it, I can lie in bed for two to three days.”
I’m 34 and I’ll never work again. Some days I feel worthless, you question your self-worth ... I’ve been on antidepressants for eight or nine years.Cam McCormack
Sport is McCormack’s escape.
“My out is cricket and golf, like if I didn’t have those things with the PTSD, I don’t know where I’d be,” he said.
“I have anxiety attacks, this trip’s massive for me, I’m petrified of flying.
“My last flight, I had a pretty bad anxiety attack to the point I was laying at the back of the plane with the hostess looking after me.
“It impacts on your mood swings, sleep patterns.
“I don’t know how much sport I’ve watched in the middle of the night, the World Cup’s been pretty handy for sure.”
McCormack is a 19-handicapper at Wodonga Golf Club.
“I’ve been hitting the ball horribly, I’m stressed about that too,” he said.
“It’s great for me mentally to have all these people talking golf, it just keeps your mind off everything else.”
Wodonga will host an event on Sunday to raise funds for the trip, with inquiries to the pro shop.
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