Irishman Brendan Lawlor will make his European Tour debut when he tees up in the inaugural ISPS HANDA UK Championship at The Belfry on Thursday.
The final event of the UK Swing will see the fourth ranked player in the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) compete at a regular tour event for the first time.
Lawlor, who has a rare condition called Ellis-van Creveld syndrome, a disability characterised by a shorter stature and shorter limbs, turned professional in September last year having made a huge impact globally on the disabled golfers’ circuit, including winning the 36-hole EDGA Scottish Open in 2019, which was played over the same course as the professionals at the Renaissance Club, concurrently with the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.
The Dundalk man also competed in the ISPS HANDA Disabled Golf Cup, played alongside the 2019 Presidents Cup in Melbourne, where twelve of the world’s leading golfers with a disability, played the same course and conditions as the pros.
Lawlor has since received a tournament invite on behalf of his sponsor and tournament title partner, ISPS HANDA, as they continue to collaborate with the European Tour in raising the profile of golf as an accessible sport for all through their long-term support of global golf initiatives.
“I am really looking forward to making my European Tour debut at the ISPS HANDA UK Championship and competing alongside some of the best players in the world,” said Lawlor.
“To have the opportunity to represent disability golfers across the world is a fantastic honour and I hope to have a solid few rounds, to showcase that disability golfers are talented in their own right. I can’t thank Dr Handa and ISPS HANDA enough for this wonderful opportunity and for their long-term dedication to disability golf” Lawlor added.
Dr Haruhisa Handa, Founder and Chairman of ISPS Handa, said:
“We are delighted to play a part in Brendan Lawlor’s debut on the European Tour when he competes in the inaugural ISPS HANDA UK Championship. The vision ISPS Handa shares with the European Tour for inclusivity is represented through our incredibly talented ambassador in Brendan Lawlor. We are excited for the inspiration he will bring to many households across the world through the UK Swing’s ‘Golf for Good initiative’.
The ISPS HANDA UK Championship follows the ISPS HANDA Wales Open won by Romain Langasque at The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport last week.
The Belfry is a venue rich in Ryder Cup history having played host to four contests – with Europe triumphing in two (1985 and 2002), the US having won in 1993, and with the 1989 match ending in a 14-14 tie.