Brendan Lawlor cannot wait to return to a site of former glories as he prepares to tee it up in the G4D @ ISPS Handa World Invitational presented by Aviv Clinics at Galgorm Castle Golf Club next week.
The Irishman won last year’s ISPS Handa World Disability Invitational and, in doing so, became World Number One on the WR4GD (World Ranking for Golfers with Disability) for the first time in his career.
It was Lawlor’s second victory in as many weeks as he also triumphed at the EDGA Cazoo Open played at Celtic Manor.
The 25-year-old now hopes that a return to a happy hunting ground can yield a maiden 2022 G4D (Golf for the Disabled) Tour victory after finishing runner-up, fourth and sixth in three starts so far this season. The G4D Tour @ ISPS Handa World Invitational presented by Aviv Clinics will take place at Galgorm Castle Golf Club from August 8-9.
“I’m extremely excited to get going in Galgorm,” said Lawlor. “It’s going to be a fantastic week. Obviously I have good memories last year, not just from the golf, but having the whole family round and what it has done for outside the game.
“So many people got in touch with me. The G4D Tour happened and disability golf was put on the map once again. That’s the message we’re striving for. We’re putting ourselves out there and more people are putting themselves out there. That’s the big thing we’re trying to do. When we’re on the golf course, we’re trying to play our best but we’re also trying to send a message of what can be done with limitations you might have.”
Making his G4D Tour debut this week is another Irishman, Conor Stone. Stone, who is ranked 13th in the world, was inspired by to play golf again by the first EDGA European Tour event which took place in 2019 at the Scottish Open, won by Lawlor.
Stone, who developed scoliosis when he was a teenager and had surgery to have the curvature of his spine corrected, has won twice this year at EDGA events in France and England and was a teammate of Lawlor’s as part of the victorious Irish side at the European Team Championship for Golfers with a Disability in Belgium two months ago. He also competed at the inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open last month, finishing in a share of seventh at Pinehurst.
“Since first watching Brendan and Juan (Postigo) and all the guys playing in Scotland a few years ago, I’ve been inspired by EDGA and what opportunities lay ahead,” said Stone. “That’s when I first found out what EDGA was and it inspired me to get back into golf, start practicing and gave me an incentive to play good golf again. I’d pretty much given up on golf.
“Players like ourselves who have been dealt a bad hand in life have such a good opportunity in the game of golf now. I played my first event in September last year and, since then, my main goal was to qualify for a G4D Tour event. Now to play in one, I’m over the moon. It’s a dream come true.
“I’ve played a lot of events in the last nine months to get up the rankings, putting a lot of commitment and time into my game. To move up the rankings to qualify for one of these events is amazing. I just can’t wait to tee it up alongside these guys, use the same driving range as the DP World Tour professionals, use the same facilities at the same time. It’s going to be an unbelievable experience. It’s everything I dreamed of as a kid.”
Lawlor and Stone are two of the ten-person field competing at the G4D @ ISPS Handa World Invitational, with the world’s best golfers with a disability competing across the inaugural 2022 season.
Confirmed field for G4D @ ISPS Handa World Invitational
|Name||Country||WR4GD (Gross Ranking Week 30)|
|Brendan Lawlor||Republic of Ireland||#1|
|Chris Biggins||United States||#4|
|David Watts||South Africa||#9|
|Conor Stone||Republic of Ireland||#13|