Brendan Lawlor is looking forward to defending The G4D Open when the world’s most talented golfers with disabilities return to compete at Woburn next year.
After Lawlor edged out Kipp Popert for an historic win in the inaugural championship earlier this year, The G4D Open will be played one week later from 15-17 May in 2024 over the Duchess Course at Woburn.
The championship, held in partnership between The R&A and the DP World Tour and supported by EDGA (formerly the European Disabled Golf Association), was one of the most inclusive ever staged, featuring nine sport classes across multiple impairment groups, with players represented from 17 countries.
A field of 80 male and female amateur and professional golfers will compete over 54 holes of stroke play gross competition at Woburn across sport classes which cover categories in Standing, Intellectual, Visual and Sitting.
“The G4D Open was a ground-breaking championship and I can’t wait to defend my title at Woburn in May,” said Lawlor, who claimed victory by two shots over Popert after the two leading players in the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) contended for the title.
“It was a dream moment in my career to make history as the first Champion of The G4D Open and it was an incredible week to be part of. The R&A, DP World Tour, EDGA and everybody involved put in so much work for the inaugural championship and I look forward to returning to a beautiful course and inspiring more and more people into golf.”
American Kim Moore was the leading woman in the championship, finishing four shots ahead of Ireland’s Fiona Gray.
Inspire and encourage
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, said, “Golf is an activity that can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of ability and with one in six of the world’s population estimated to have some form of disability, we need to raise awareness of its many health benefits and demonstrate that golf is accessible and welcoming to all.
“The G4D Open forms an important part of our drive to achieve this aim and through the feats and achievements of the competing golfers, we can inspire and encourage more people with a disability to believe that golf is a sport for them and can be enjoyed with family and friends throughout their lives. We look forward to another memorable week at Woburn next year.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour Group, said, “The G4D Tour has achieved so much since its foundation, providing a high-profile platform for these extremely talented and inspirational athletes to compete and showcase their skills, alongside players on the DP World Tour.
“By working in close partnership with The R&A, the inaugural G4D Open was born back in May. It was a world class tournament that attracted the best golfers with a disability from around the world. Woburn proved a stunning venue and we’re delighted that the 2024 tournament will return to the Duchess Course.”
Woburn continues its rich history of hosting amateur and professional championships with Fina Qualifying for The Open from 2014 to 2017 and most recently the AIG Women's Open in 2019.
The Duke of Bedford, President of Woburn Golf Club, said, “Following the success of the inaugural G4D Open which was absolutely inspirational, we are thrilled it will be returning to Woburn in 2024 when it will again be played on the Duchess Course.
“The G4D Open generated a unique atmosphere and camaraderie amongst our members and everyone involved with volunteering during the championship. We have no doubt on the back of this year’s G4D Open there will be increased support and it will continue to grow from strength to strength.”
The establishment of The G4D Open follows on from the inclusion of the Modified Rules of Golf for Players with Disabilities into the Rules of Golf from the start of this year and The R&A and USGA’s on-going administration of the WR4GD.
The R&A also supports a number of other championships held for golfers with disabilities, as well as providing funding to EDGA as a service provider to national federations around the world.