Brendan Lawlor and Kim Moore are among elite golfers with disabilities from across the world targeting success in the first-ever G4D Open, which starts tomorrow.
A field of 80 male and female players representing 17 countries have assembled to compete over the Duchess Course at Woburn, including eight from the top-ten from the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD).
The championship, held in partnership between The R&A and the DP World Tour and supported by EDGA (formerly the European Disabled Golf Association), will be one of the most inclusive ever staged, featuring nine sport classes across multiple impairment groups.
Tee times and the full field can be viewed on The R&A website and spectators are welcome to attend The G4D Open free of charge.
Ireland’s Lawlor, ranked second in the world standings behind Kipp Popert, is a multiple winner on the EDGA Tour and has competed regularly on the G4D Tour in DP World Tour events.
The 26-year-old professional is relishing the chance to shine on the big stage at Woburn and said, “It’s huge, the first one ever. To put your name on that trophy, to make history to be the first one to do it, that would be the biggest thing for me. My game is in a good place and, mentally, I feel good too, so I feel like I could go well this week.”
Leg amputee Moore, 42, has travelled from the USA for the opportunity to add The G4D Open title to the US Adaptive Open she won at Pinehurst last year.
“It’s very exciting,” said the American, who plays off a golf handicap of 2.3 and has qualified to play in the G4D Tour Scandinavian Mixed next month. “It should be a great week here. The golf course is great and I’m just really excited to be part of the first championship. It’s nice to be part of history.”
St Patricks Links star Fiona Gray hopes this weeks event can continue the momentum behind disability golf in recent years.
“Disability golf in Ireland is growing,” Gray says. “I’ve recruited a few ladies (at her home club, St Patrick’s) which is nice, and it’s up-and-coming. We need to get out there and show that we are welcome on the course. Yes, disability isn’t visible to some people but to us, it is. We need to keep the game growing, especially with women in golf.”
Amateur and professional golfers will contest the 54-hole stroke play gross competition across the sport classes which cover various categories in Standing, Intellectual, Visual and Sitting. An overall winner will be determined at the end of the three rounds, along with an opposite sex winner and a gross prize in each category.
The establishment of The G4D Open follows on from the inclusion of the Modified Rules of Golf for Players with Disabilities into the Rules of Golf from the start of this year and The R&A and USGA’s on-going administration of the WR4GD.
Media can register and access The R&A Virtual Media Centre, which is being populated throughout the week with images, video content and transcripts, via this link.
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