Brendan Lawlor is the champion of the first-ever G4D Open
by Adam Calvert on May 14, 2023
Brendan Lawlor has etched his name in history, securing a momentous victory at the first-ever G4D Open held on the Marquess Course at Woburn. In a thrilling competition, Lawlor emerged triumphant, narrowly edging out Kipp Popert in a closely contested battle.
Lawlor and Popert, the top-ranked players in the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD), engaged in an enthralling final round that kept spectators on the edge of their seats. Ultimately, Lawlor clinched the win, finishing with a three-over-par winning gross total of 219 after a final round of 75. Popert, just two strokes behind, carded a final-day score of 76.
Reflecting on his historic victory, Lawlor expressed his elation, saying, "It's just an unbelievable feeling. I've put so much hard work into my game, and I'm proud of myself for getting it done. It's been a while since I've been in the winner's circle, so this is truly special."
Lawlor's triumph is a testament to his dedication and perseverance. Born with Ellis-van Creveld syndrome, a rare condition characterized by a shorter stature and limbs, he has defied the odds and showcased his exceptional skills on the DP World Tour. The G4D Open provided an inclusive platform for golfers across nine sport classes and various impairment groups, with representation from 17 countries.
Lawlor's journey to victory was not without its challenges. Beginning the final day with a one-shot lead over Popert, he stumbled early with three consecutive bogeys in the chilly conditions. Popert, too, faced a setback with a bogey on the first hole but quickly regained ground with a birdie on the par-5 6th, giving him a two-shot advantage.
The tide turned as Lawlor found his footing, and a birdie on the 10th coupled with a bogey from Popert brought the two players level. Crucial bogeys by Popert on the 13th and 15th holes allowed Lawlor to establish a two-stroke lead, reminiscent of a captivating match play-style contest. Although Lawlor bogeyed the 16th, Popert's hopes were dashed when he encountered trouble on the final hole.
The inaugural G4D Open represents the inclusivity championed by the championship. The winner will collaborate with a design team to create a permanent trophy that symbolizes the intertwining paths of the players on their remarkable journeys to compete in the G4D Open.
Despite settling for the runner-up spot, world number one Kipp Popert, born with Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebral Palsy, has enjoyed a remarkable season on the G4D Tour, boasting five victories in 2022/23.
The G4D Open marked a significant milestone for disability golf, showcasing the talent, determination, and spirit of golfers who transcend perceived limitations. With Lawlor's historic win and the unwavering support from organizations such as The R&A, DP World Tour, and EDGA, the future looks bright for the continued growth and success of disability golf.
Image credits - The R&A