TOP golfers, including the legendary Jack Nicklaus, Rory McIlroy and Hampshire’s own Justin Rose have come together to support young dad Alex Lewis.
As the international sporting superstars compete this week to be The Open champion at Hoylake, they have also found the time to help golfmad quadruple amputee Alex Lewis by donating prizes for a fundraising auction.
On offer is a bespoke tour bag made for US Open winner Martin Kaymer, a signed tour bag from Rory McIlroy, and a rare 2012 ‘Miracle of Medinah’ Ryder Cup picture signed by all 24 players and the captains.
Justin Rose, who is 34- year-old Alex’s golfing hero, has offered the trip of a lifetime, which could raise as much as £30,000 to help the dad, who lost his limbs and part of his nose and lips when a simple cold developed into a killer bug.
The highest bidder will get two business-class flights to the Bahamas and a two-night stay at the luxury Albany resort, where they will have dinner with the golf star before joining him on the course the following day.
The auction, which is still awaiting lots from Ian Poulter, Padraig Harrington and other star golfers, is now live and will close at the end of a charity day at Andover’s Hampshire Golf Club on August 6. The day has been organised by Alex’s friends Andrew Taylor, Chris Bagley, Andy Snellgrove and Malcolm Jarvis.
The 18-hole fundraiser, sponsored by Srixon and Cleveland and featuring a h o l e - i n - o n e prize, will begin with a shotgun start by Hampshire’s Spitfire Shoot at 9.30am, and includes a hog roast and raffle.
The man behind the celebrity auction is Sky Sports golf reporter and European tour coach Tim Barter. He coached Alex, of Stockbridge, who played golf for Hampshire Juniors when he was 15.
Tim, pictured below, said: “Alex’s strength of character and positivity in the face of what has happened was beyond my comprehension. I immediately said I would do whatever it takes to help.”
It is down to Tim that the golfing stars have all pitched in.
“I have been overwhelmed by what these players will do for Alex,” he said. “They are the biggest superstars in golf, but everyone I have spoken to has said they will do whatever they can to help. What Justin Rose has donated is mind boggling.
“I have been trying to decide which charity to support with a rare signed picture from the Ryder Cup in 2012 that was signed by all the players after I interviewed them, so what better cause could I donate it to?”
All money raised from the event will go to the Al Lewis Trust set up to fund his rehabilitation costs and prosthetic limbs after contracting Streptococcus A, which led to septicaemia and toxic shock syndrome.
Alex, who is out of hospital after undergoing his fourth amputation, was due to attend The Open this week.
He said he was stunned by the support from the golfers.
“It is off the scale and you would just never think it in a million years.
“This sort of thing is once-ina- lifetime stuff for any golf fan.
“Some signed caps would have been amazing, but this is just incredible.”