Nine players from eight countries have qualified for the EDGA Scottish Open, the new 36-hole tournament for Golfers with Disability that will run alongside the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick.
The event will be staged on July 13-14, 2019 - over the weekend of one of the European Tour’s biggest events of the year. Nine players from the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) have qualified from four pre-determined categories, with one wildcard invitation to be confirmed shortly to complete the field.
The Renaissance Club will host the EDGA Scottish Open during the third Rolex Series event on the 2019 Race to Dubai, continuing the drive for inclusivity within golf as players tackle the same course setup as the European Tour professionals.
The season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai will host a second tournament at Jumeirah Golf Estates. It will be a similar model, but the tournament will be played on Friday and Saturday (November 22-23), with eight players eligible for that event. The events in Scotland and Dubai will be run in conjunction with the EDGA (European Disabled Golf Association).
Scoring for both tournaments will feature on the European Tour’s website and App for fans to follow, while highlights of both contests will form part of the world feed broadcast. The winner in Scotland will also take part in the main prizegiving ceremony on Sunday afternoon.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “It was one of the proudest moments of my time so far at the European Tour to announce that we would be working alongside EDGA to offer golfers with a disability the opportunity to play competitive tournaments alongside two of our most high-profile events.
“I am delighted to welcome the initial nine players into the field for the EDGA Scottish Open, and I have no doubt that they will relish the test at The Renaissance Club on July 13 and 14, over the weekend of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.
“This event in Scotland is a watershed moment, as we work, alongside the EDGA, towards our aspirational goal of a ‘Golfers with Disability World Tour’ by 2021.”
EDGA President and IGF Head of Disability and Inclusion Tony Bennett said: “The announcement of these two exciting events in Scotland and Dubai, in collaboration with the European Tour, is already proving to be a game changer. Golf has the potential to be the most inclusive game of all, and we have seen a rapid increase in interest for the integration of individuals with disability into participation and competition programmes.
"As we prepare for the EDGA Scottish Open, we have already seen demand for a range of new initiatives, including school awareness programmes, a pop-in women’s event at the Home of Golf, St Andrews, demonstration events in rehabilitation centres, and of course more applications for national and regional tournaments. These developments indicate the reach that the European Tour has, and the growing interest from people of all abilities and from all backgrounds in the game."
Category 1 - The leading six available players from the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) week 20.
George Groves - England
Brendan Lawlor - Ireland
Adem Wahbi - Belgium
Geoff Nicholas - Australia
Shane Luke - Australia
Juan Postigo Arce - Spain
Category 2 - The leading home nation player in the WR4GD
Paul Ellison - Scotland
Category 3 - USGA nominated player
Christopher Biggins (USA)
Category 4 - Golf RSA nominated player
Reinard Schuhknecht - South Africa
The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open is being played for the first time at The Renaissance Club - which was founded in 2008 and nestles on 300 picturesque acres along the Firth of Forth. Scotland’s national open is the perfect day out for all the family, with fantastic food and drink outlets in the championship village as well as retail experiences and entertainment for all ages.
Fans can buy tickets to see some of the world’s best golfers – including official Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open hospitality packages – at www.asiscottishopen.com
The European Tour’s drive for inclusivity in golf continued apace today with the announcement that two tournaments for Golfers with Disability will be run alongside two of this season’s biggest Rolex Series tournaments.
In conjunction with the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) – which founded the new World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) now administered by the World Amateur Golf Ranking – the 36-hole EDGA Scottish Open and the 36-hole EDGA Dubai Finale will be played on the weekends of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Ten male golfers taken from the WR4GD will have the opportunity at the EDGA Scottish Open from July 13-14 to tackle the same course set up as the European Tour professionals while the EDGA Dubai Finale will be of a similar model except the tournament will be played on Friday and Saturday (November 22-23), with eight players eligible for that event.
Scoring for both tournaments will feature on the European Tour’s website and App for fans to follow, while television coverage of both contests will form part of the world feed broadcast, and the winner in Scotland will also take part in the main prizegiving ceremony on Sunday afternoon.
Already recognised as global leaders in integrating the women’s game into the men’s professional arena, today’s announcement continues the European Tour’s quest to make top level golf available to all.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “We are thrilled to make this announcement today, one which will offer golfers with disability the opportunity to play competitive tournaments alongside our professionals at two-world class venues.
“As golf’s global Tour, our core values are innovation and inclusivity and these two tournaments fit perfectly into both of those genres, as well as illustrating once again the unique health benefits our sport offers everyone. But this is just the start. We look forward to working with EDGA over the coming months and years as we build towards our aspirational goal of a ‘Golfers with Disability World Tour’ by 2021.”
The initiative was launched at the Betfred British Masters at Hillside Golf Club in Southport where three of the game’s leading golfers with disability - Juan Postigo Arce, Brendan Lawlor and Caroline Mohr – played alongside European Tour champion and RSM Ambassador Paul Waring in the pre-tournament Pro-Am.
Waring said: “It was great to play with Juan, Brendan and Caroline today to give them a chance to showcase the golfing talent they possess. Very quickly it is not disability that is noticeable but the actual ability these athletes have for the game.
“It is great to see the European Tour getting behind this initiative and I am looking forward to seeing how the respective tournaments unfold later in the year. Just like today at Hillside when the crowds were excellent, I would encourage all spectators in Scotland and Dubai to get out and give these guys all the support you can.”
EDGA President Tony Bennett said: “The vision of the European Tour to include players from the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability in European Tour events is further evidence that the game is willing and able to embrace golfers of all abilities. EDGA has been a beneficiary of the European Tour either through donations, fundraising at the Portugal Masters, or more recently from its Foundation. Our relationship has grown ever stronger, and today's announcement is a game changer.
“The athletes who will compete in these events will be some of the best in the world, but golf can be just as important for individuals with a disability who simply want to participate and gain some of the health-enhancing benefits that golf offers. I commend all at the European Tour for the spirit of collaboration that we have experienced during the development of this far-reaching initiative.”
Funding from Tour partner RSM helped the EDGA players compete at Hillside today and the company’s support will also be evident for the players in Scotland and Dubai later in the year. RSM are also assisting the production of an EDGA film and launch of their new book, “MULLIGAN - tough love and second chances” that showcases the power of the human spirit with 18 real life stories ‘Golfers with Disability’.