Lawlor finds his groove at G4D Open as the big guns hit the front

Mark McGowan

Brendan Lawlor (Photo by Alex Burstow/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Brendan Lawlor finished with a flurry at the weather delayed G4D Open at Woburn, birdieing three of his last four holes to share first-round leader honours with world number one Kipp Popert.

Heavy thunderstorms swept across southern England causing a two-hour delay, and Lawlor, with 11 holes in the bank, lay at +1 after birdies at four and six and bogeys at one, two and seven.

When play resumed, Dundalk man Lawlor eased his way back into the round with pars, before embarking on a birdie blitz to cover the par-5 15th, par-3 16th and par-4 17th in three under to take a share of the lead.


With world number two Lawlor tied with Popert at the sharp end of proceedings, and world number three Juan Postigo a shot adrift in third, the heavyweights of the field have come to the fore.

“Yeah, hundred per cent,” a clearly delighted Lawlor responded when asked if he was pleased with his round. “Played solid all day. Missed quite a few putts. Left probably a few on the back nine. On 11, was a rain delay, a lot of rain and got back on to the course and was quite soggy. Had a 3-footer when I went back out and wasn’t the best type of putt to have back out but holed that. But made three on the bounce in put me to 2-under, I’m happy.”

After the deluge of rain during the weather delay, conditions changed dramatically in the aftermath and Lawlor handled the changeup better than most.

“It was like two different courses,” he said. “First 11 holes, greens were quite quick and then from the last seven, the greens were slowed down. It was hard to hit put and all that sort of stuff but played well. It was playing longer so you had to get a bit more carry. Controlled it pretty well today. Stayed in there. Didn’t get angry when things weren’t going bad and just stuck in there.”

In an interesting twist of fate, good pals Lawlor and third-placed Postigo are sharing accommodation for the week, and the craic-loving Irishman was quick to see potential humour in the living arrangements.

“I’m cooking,” he mischievously declared, “so I’m going to slip something in his food tonight — no, I’m only joking. We are really good mates, really good friends and we actually stay everywhere together when we travel so we get a house or apartment or something. I try his Spanish cuisine and I get the fish and chips from Ireland. It’s a good time.”

Lawlor’s wasn’t the only impressive performance from the Irish contingent. Conor Stone fired four birdies on his way to a two-over 74 and an early tie for fifth, while Alan Gaynor lies tied eighth after an opening 78.

James McParland is in a tied for 22nd with Fiona Gray a further three shots back in 30th. Cian Arthurs and Paul O’Kelly sit alongside each other in a tie for 32nd, with Aidan Grehan one further adrift in solo 34th.

80 players in total make up the field, with 17 countries represented, and the joint R&A and the DP World Tour supported event, in conjunction with the EDGA (formerly the European Disabled Golf Association), featuring nine sport classes across multiple impairment groups, is one of the most inclusive ever staged.


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