Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A, said, “We have established The G4D Open to provide a world-class stage for the very best golfers with disabilities to compete against each other and realise their ambitions at an elite level of the sport. “The World Health Organization states that 1 in 6 people has a disability and so we want to show that golf is open to everyone regardless of ability. We can do this by celebrating the exceptional skills of golfers who as role models will inspire more men, women and young people to take up the sport through their achievements on the course. “We are grateful for the guidance offered by EDGA in creating this championship and look forward to working with the DP World Tour to stage the inaugural event at Woburn, as well as seeing who emerges from the field to write their name in the history books as the first ever champion of The G4D Open.”Eligible amateur and professional golfers, including men and women, playing in The G4D Open will contest a 54 hole stroke play gross competition with an overall winner determined at the end of three rounds. There will also be a gross prize in several categories.
Brendan Lawlor, the number two ranked golfer in WRG4D who turned professional in 2019 and made history by becoming the first disabled golfer to compete on the DP World Tour in 2020, said, “It’s unbelievable. It’s great news for golf and hopefully more history will be created that week. “It’s not just about competing in the event and winning, it’s also about etching your name in the history books. We’ve done that a few times as golfers, including when I became the first player with a disability to play on the European Challenge Tour in 2019 and the DP World Tour in 2020, which were big milestones. To win this new championship would be just as big in my eyes.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour Group, said, “The G4D Tour, launched last year, has provided a high-profile platform for the best golfers with a disability to showcase their skills on the same course, the same week, as professionals on the DP World Tour. When you watch these golfers play you immediately talk about their ability rather than their disability, and it is only fitting that the 2023 G4D Tour schedule is now further elevated with a new championship. Our partners at The R&A and EDGA share our ambition to make golf a truly inclusive sport and this new tournament is an important step in that journey.”
Growing the game
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. During the week of the event, there will also be a symposium bringing together national federations from around the world to discuss important topics relating to the growth and development of golf for the disabled. Woburn has a rich history of hosting amateur and professional championships with Final Qualifying for The Open from 2014 to 2017 and most recently the AIG Women's Open in 2019, both played on the Marquess Course. The Duke of Bedford, President of Woburn Golf Club, said, “Woburn Golf Club is extremely proud to be host of the inaugural G4D Open on the Duchess course. We look forward to welcoming competitors from across the globe to the championship”.
Article by Ben Evans, +44(0)7789 722853, January 2023
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