WOBURN: Ireland’s Brendan Lawlor prevailed in a thrilling head-to-head battle with England’s Kipp Popert to claim the inaugural G4D Open title for golfers with disabilities at Woburn’s Duchess course on Friday. The overnight leader by a stroke, the 26-year-old Lawlor began with three bogeys and when Popert birdied the third, he trailed by two strokes on a cold and blustery day. But Lawlor, ranked two in the WR4GD world rankings, produced almost error-free golf thereafter to win on three over par after 54 holes, two clear of Popert. Spain’s Juan Postigo, who was born without his lower right leg and knee and plays without a prosthetic limb, shot the best round of the day, a two-over-par 74, to finish third overall. The G4D Open, run by the R&A and the DP World Tour and supported by EDGA (formerly the European Disabled Golf Association), featured 80 players with a range of disabilities, representing 17 nations and contesting nine different categories as well as the overall medal. Lawlor, born with Ellis-van Creveld syndrome, an inherited disorder that results in short stature and short limbs, boomed some huge drives down the lush fairways as he found his rhythm. A bogey on 16 allowed the 24-year-old Popert to close to within a stroke but he found trouble at the last and Lawlor had the luxury of a tap-in to seal a memorable first G4D Tour title. “It was such a great day. Got off to a shaky start with three bogeys in a row, but steadied up then made a good birdie on 10,” he said. “It was a real mental battle out there but happy to go wire-to-wire which I’ve never done before.” Lawlor turned professional in 2019 and became the first player with a disability to compete on the DP World Tour at the ISPS HANDA UK Championship in August 2020. He also played in this year’s DP World Tour in Japan, speaking candidly afterwards about abuse on social media. Popert, born with a form of Cerebral Palsy called Spastic Diplegia, has won five times on the G4D Tour in 2022/23, but fell just short of glory after a titanic tussle. The leading female player was American Kim Moore who was tied 28th overall. “It’s an honour to be the leading female,” said Moore, who last year became the first winner of the U.S. Adaptive Open championship. “Although I didn’t play the greatest this whole week, I played good enough.” Other categories were intellectual, visual and sitting.