Saturday July 31, 2021

Host Brendan Lawlor let his clubs to the talking to take the first round lead at the inaugural ISPS HANDA World Disability Invitational at Massereene Golf Club.

Lawlor is the figurehead for this week’s EDGA European Tour event which is part of the UK Swing series where the winners qualify for the season-ending finale in Dubai. Lawlor has already qualified for Dubai after winning the EDGA event in Wales last week.

The Dundalk golfer didn’t get off to the best of starts at Massereene but he remained patient to sign for a three-under-par 69 for a four shot lead over Ryan Brendan in second. The second round of the 36-hole event takes place at Galgorm tomorrow.

“It turned out to be a pretty special round this morning,” said Lawlor after his round. “I didn’t get off to a great start, wasn’t hitting it great and was one-over after six holes. It was as bad as I’ve played in a long time. In my own head, I thought, if I can shoot this score and play that bad, then there must be something coming that’s good.

“And sure enough, I birdied eight, nine and 10. Holed a long birdie putt on the par three eighth, 20-footer on nine then I stitched it on the par five 10th. It was a massive boost during the round. After that I was able to take on the other par five (15th) on the back nine.

Lawlor is delighted to be involved in such a big week, not only for the men’s and women’s game but for the chance to showcase disability golf.

“It’s a huge week for us. Having the men and women compete for the same prize money is massive. The event has grown so much, especially with three tours involved now. Inviting disability golfers to this event is amazing too.

“For me personally, it’s great to have helped bring some of the best disability golfers here this week and hopefully we will have more in the future.”

There are two more EDGA European Tour events on the schedule, 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. Lawlor also has a start in the British Challenge, presented by Modest! Golf, a European Challenge Tour event at the start of September at The Belfry.

My game is in good shape. If I put in two solid rounds and I trust my ability then I believe I’m capable of making a cut or two in these type of events like the Belfry,” added Lawlor.

(Photo: Getty Images)