Ireland’s Brendan Lawlor carded a brilliant final round of 71 to win the inaugural EDGA (European Disabled Golf Association) Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club on Sunday.
Played alongside the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, the 36-hole event featured ten players from the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability taking on the same layout as the European Tour field in the third Rolex Series event of the season.
Lawlor carded a 77 on the opening day and followed it with the lowest round of the event to finish at six over par, one shot clear of World Number One George Groves.
Earlier this season the Irishman won the G-Golf Knockout against fellow EDGA Scottish Open participant Adem Wahbi at the Belgian Knockout, and in the process earning a place in the field for the KPMG Trophy on the European Challenge Tour in August.
The World Number Three plays off scratch and has Ellis–Van Creveld syndrome, a disability characterised by a shorter stature and shorter limbs.
Lawlor said: “It feels great. Today everything clicked, I smoothed it off the tee, I didn’t miss many fairways and the putts dropped when I needed them to drop. I had a few bogeys coming in but we’ll put that down to wee bit of nerves.
“To play in such a fantastic event, it’s an amazing achievement for EDGA to get us in, and for the European Tour to recognise that disability golfers are talented is fantastic as well. Inclusion is everything in the world and it’s fantastic to be accepted.”
Lawlor started the day three shots behind Groves – who has a a paralysis of the left arm called Erb’s Palsy – but overturned the advantage thanks to a brilliant front nine, with birdies on the fourth, fifth and seventh to lead by one at turn despite dropping a shot on the ninth.
England’s Mike Browne finished at 11 over par, six shots clear of American Christopher Biggins and eight ahead of Australian Shane Luke.
Another Australian in Geoff Nicholas, Swede Joakim Björkman, Belgian Wahbi, Scot Paul Ellison and South African Reinard Schuhknect completed the field.
The EDGA Scottish Open is the first of two disability championships scheduled alongside Rolex Series events on the 2019 Race to Dubai, with the 36-hole EDGA Dubai Finale due to feature as part of the season ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates in November.