Brendan Lawlor hit the headlines Down Under over the weekend when he rubber-stamped his credentials as one of the world’s best disabled golfers after finishing second at the Australian All Abilities Championship in Sydney.
The Dundalk talent was one of a dozen competing stars at the tournament, a mini-event played alongside the professionals contesting the Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club.
It proved to be an unforgettable experience for the 21-year-old playing amongst some of the world’s best players. He finished 10 shots behind a most impressive winner in Sweden’s Johan Kammerstad but Lawlor was plenty satisfied with his runner-up finish regardless.
“It was the best experience of my life,” he gushed. “Playing in front of 5,000 people was incredible and when I put it into five feet on the last the crowd went nuts. When you shoot the same score as some of the pros you know you did okay!”
Indeed Lawlor did better than OK with his performance attracting media attention and television coverage throughout the 54-hole event. Playing off the championship tees in the same course conditions as the likes of Matt Kuchar and Keegan Bradley, Lawlor acquitted himself better than most on the renowned Sydney links.
He posted scores of 78, 85 and 80 for a three day total of 243 and despite ultimately falling short of the top prize, the Louth native was more than happy with his week’s work on Australia’s east coast.
“I am disappointed with not winning but second on a stage like this is more than amazing. Just being here would have been good, even if I had finished last!”
It is now hoped that the success of the event will see the sport introduced to the Paralympics in 2024 while it’s been rumoured that a similar tournament could run alongside next year’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Whatever happens, Lawlor has done his country proud on the world stage once more but he has no time to rest on the achievement; he’s now off to Melbourne for the Ryder Cup-esque battle between Europe and Australia, an event running alongside the World Cup of Golf. No doubt he’ll do us proud again.