Ireland’s Lawlor claims G4D Open title on historic day for golfers with disabilities

Woburn, May 13 (BNA): Ireland’s Brendan Lawlor battled it out with England’s Kip Boppert to win the inaugural G4D Open Par1 title at Woburn’s Duchess Course on Friday.

Reuters reported that 26-year-old Lawlor, who had a stroke, started with three bogeys, and when Bobby Bird hit the third, he was delayed by a stroke on a cold and windy day.

But Lawlor, ranked second in the WR4GD world rankings, produced nearly flawless golf after that to win by three at par after 54 holes, by two from Popert.

Spaniard Juan Postigo, who was born without a right lower leg and knee and plays without a prosthesis, scored the best round of the day, scoring 74 points, finishing third overall.

The G4D Open Championship, run by the R&A and DP World Tour and supported by EDGA (formerly the European Paralympic Golf Association), featured 80 players with a range of disabilities, representing 17 countries and competing in nine different categories as well as the all-around medal.

Born with Ellis van Creveld Syndrome, a genetic disorder that results in short stature and short limbs, Lawlor has blossomed some huge engines into the leafy lanes where he finds his rhythm.

A bogey at 16 allowed 24-year-old Boppert to come close with a stroke but found trouble in the past and Lawlor had the luxury of scoring for a memorable first G4D Tour title.

Lawlor turned professional in 2019 and became the first player with a disability to compete on the DP World Tour of the ISPS HANDA UK Championship in August 2020.

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He also took part in this year’s DP World Tour in Japan, and spoke out afterwards about the abuses on social media.

Boppert, who was born with a form of cerebral palsy called Spastic Diplegia, won five times on the G4D Tour in 2022/23, but fell short of glory after a titanic struggle.

“This tournament I hope will last for many years. I hope my name will be on it a few times,” he told Reuters. “But Brendan played brilliantly, he deserves it and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Boppert, the world’s number one golfer with a handicap, is also hoping to make a move to the DP World Tour.

“I haven’t played the DP World Tour yet. Hopefully I can still play well enough to get a few invitations,” he said.

The leading player was American Kim Moore, who was tied for 28th overall.

“It’s such an honor to be the leading woman,” said Moore, who last year became the first winner of the US Open Adaptation Championship. “Although I didn’t play the best this week, I played well enough.”

The other categories were intellectual, visual and sitting.

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