Kipp Popert enjoyed a ten-stroke victory and won his seventh G4D Tour title at the G4D Tour at the ISPS HANDA World Invitational presented by AVIV Clinics.
The Englishman made it back-to-back victories on the G4D circuit after winning at The Belfry last month and underlined his status as world number one in the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) in emphatic fashion at Galgorm.
The 25-year-old, who held a two-stroke lead after day one, posted a stunning six under par round of 66 on the final day to add to his opening 69, finishing on nine under par and ten strokes clear of Canada’s Kurtis Barkley, who finished second on one over par with Ireland’s Brendan Lawlor in 6th on six-over par and Conor Stone in 10th on 11-over.
Victory in Northern Ireland marks the world number one’s third triumph on the G4D Tour this season, adding to his wins at the Australian All Abilities Championship at the ISPS HANDA Australian Open and the G4D Tour at the Betfred British Masters hosted by Sir Nick Faldo.
Popert, who was diagnosed with a form of cerebral palsy called Spastic diplegia that affects his lower body, quickly extended his overnight lead with back-to-back birdies from the second and followed up his only bogey of the day at six with an eagle at the par five ninth for the second day running.
With a five-stroke lead over nearest challenger Chris Biggins, Popert started his back nine with back-to-back birdies, increasing his advantage to eight as the American failed to save par at the par-four 11th. Biggins dropped back further over the closing stretch, and with a final birdie at the 14th Popert went on to secure the largest margin of victory in G4D Tour history.
“It was a lot of fun, you can’t complain when you shoot six under so I’m very pleased,” he said. “Having Ben on the bag, he did a great job as always, then my dad, my auntie Dodo and my friend John were there so it was awesome to do it front of them as well.
“To be honest, the tee bit was good but the green bit wasn’t ideal. I didn’t hit it amazingly, wedged it good but didn’t hit it amazingly, so bits to work on. I was really hoping to get to ten under, so I almost did but I was very pleased.
“I just work very hard. I’ve got a good home club in Wilderness Golf Club in Sevenoaks, they’ve always supported me, awesome parents, and I just love playing golf and competing.
“I just turn up to the events and try and beat my friends. We all played really well, playing with Chris and Rasmus is always good fun and I think that’s the best thing about this Tour. We’re all playing and we all want to win and everyone is very competitive but there’s always a fist bump when you make a birdie.”
Canadian Barkley was the only other player to post an under par round on day two, carding a round of 70 to finish second on one over, one stroke clear of America’s Chris Biggins and Sweden’s Rasmus Lia on two over. Defending champion Tommaso Perrino, from Italy, rounded out the top five, three strokes back on five over.