Golf: Carver's miraculous recovery

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Matt Carver yesterday completed an astonishing recovery to lead the first qualifying round of the Amateur Championship at Royal St George's, just two weeks after being almost paralysed in a car crash.

The 23-year-old from West Kent - whose father is English but who was born in Australia - was coming back from the English strokeplay championship at Saunton when his car was hit from behind and completely written off. He was knocked unconscious after his head hit the steering wheel and he spent a week in the neurosurgical unit at Bristol's Frenchay Hospital where he suffered total body paralysis for the first two days after the accident.

"The doctor did say there was a chance I might be paralysed for good but thankfully the feeling began to come back gradually," Carver said.

"The strange thing is I still have completely no feeling at all in both my forearms from the elbows down to the wrists. It's strange but it doesn't seem to affect my golf.

It certainly did not yesterday, when Carver produced an impressive level- par 70 in howling gales, three birdies giving him a three-shot lead over New Zealand's Richard Hislop.