IN a ground-breaking EDGA Dubai Finale, played over two days alongside the DP World Tour World Championship, England’s George Groves lifted the inaugural trophy after carding rounds of 77 and 82 over the same Earth course set-up as the DP World Tour Championship.
The World No.1, who has Erb’s Palsy, which leaves him with 20 per cent strength in his left arm after a medical accident during birth, started the event strongly with an opening round 77 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead heading into the final round on Saturday. Groves looked to be running away with the tournament after making a birdie at the first hole, but the USA’s Chad Pfeifer applied some pressure, closing with a 77, the lowest round of the day. However, it wasn’t enough to deny Groves with his final round 82, enough for a three-shot triumph at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
“Being in Dubai and playing in the Finale was unbelievable - I wouldn't mind coming here and playing golf again, that's for sure,” said a jubilant Groves. “The European Tour has been fantastic with us and given us all immense support. We were treated like true professionals as if we were stars on the Tour. It’s incredible that they invited us over to play on the same course and same conditions. It was a wonderful experience.”
The 36-hole event featured eight of the world's best Golfers of Determination and was played during the 11th edition of the European Tour’s season-ending event, marking the second time an EDGA tournament had taken place in conjunction with a Rolex Series event, after Brendan Lawlor secured the EDGA Scottish Open earlier this year.
Danny van Otterdijk, SVP Group Communications at DP World said: “Congratulations to George for winning the EDGA Dubai Finale and well done to the other members in the field who really animated the tournament this weekend. We’ve seen some fantastic golf and DP World, together with the European Tour, are privileged to have hosted the EDGA players alongside the pros competing in the DP World Tour Championship.
“Inclusion sits at the heart of DP World’s values and is integral to both our businesses and our sponsorships. One of the main objectives of our golf programme is to inspire people of all ages, backgrounds, genders and abilities to get involved in the game. We believe this tournament has done exactly that.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “On a personal note it has given me a great sense of pride to see the European Tour’s drive for inclusivity within golf continue with the EDGA Finale taking place here in Dubai this week. Our thanks go to organisers Tony and Scott Bennett. Let’s hope it won’t be too long before we’re celebrating an EDGA World Championship series.
American Christopher Biggins finished at 20 over, with Frenchman Charles-Henri Quélin, Irishman Lawlor, Australian Geoff Nicholas and Swede Joakim Bjorkman rounding out the field.
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