Playing in the first of five 36-hole events forming the EDGA European Tour in 2021, the Irishman followed up his one under par opening round of 70 with a five-over 76 to take the title by seven shots from Italy’s Tommaso Perrino.
The tournament featured eight of the top-ranked players on the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) competing on the same layout as the European Tour field tackled at the Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale.
Lawlor, who has Ellis-Van Creveld syndrome, a disability characterised by a shorter stature and shorter limbs, secured his second victory at an EDGA European Tour event following his win at the 2019 EDGA Scottish Open.
“It feels amazing,” said Lawlor. “It has been an incredible week, the hospitality and the course here at Celtic Manor has been amazing. To lift the trophy at the end of the week is just a pleasure, I’m delighted.
“The top EDGA players are competing and it’s hard to separate each other – whoever has a good day will win. We’re trying to get more and more people into the game and the European Tour has given us an amazing opportunity to promote the game on the world stage. It’s going to bring so many more people into the game and keep it moving forward.
“I enjoyed it. I’ve put a lot of work in; it was a long year stuck at home and I put a lot of work in hitting balls into a net. I kept myself ready because I knew we’d be back at some stage. It’s an honour playing courses like that. The fairways are lush, the tee boxes are lush. You have to blame yourself if you hit a bad shot, you can’t blame the course.”
The field of eight players will also take part in the ISPS HANDA World Disability Invitational, which is being hosted by Lawlor next week at Massereene Golf Club and Galgorm Castle in Northern Ireland, an event running concurrently with the ISPS HANDA World Invitational presented by Modest! Golf Management.
“I shot one under on the first day, basically off the back sticks, which is good shooting,” Lawlor added. “We can go out there and show we have game, and that’s the most important thing. That’s what people want to see. We had fans following me and Tommaso out there today, they loved to see it. I’m lost for words – it was a great week.”
The EDGA initiative is taking place under the umbrella of the European Tour’s Golf For Good initiative – the Tour’s overarching Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
After the ISPA HANDA World Disability Invitational presented by Brendan Lawlor, a new group of golfers taken from the WR4GD will participate in the EDGA Hero Open, at Fairmont St Andrews from August 7-8, and the EDGA Cazoo Classic, at London Golf Club from August 14-15.
The top four players from each group of two tournaments qualify for the returning EDGA Dubai Finale – the fifth and final EDGA European Tour event of 2021, held alongside the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – the final Rolex Series event of the year – at Jumeirah Golf Estates on November 19-20.