The Belgian Knockout once again showcased the innovative and inclusive nature of the tournament with the G-GOLF Knockout, a nine-hole stroke play knockout match between two golfers with disability, played on Sunday afternoon before Guido Migliozzi was crowded the eventual winner of the tournament.
Brendan Lawlor, the current World Number Three in the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD), defeated home favourite and WR4GD Number Five Adem Wahbi by three shots at Rinkven International Golf Course. The Irishman has now earned an invite to the 2019 KPMG Trophy, the European Challenge Tour event played in Belgium.
The knockout match follows the European Tour’s announcement last month at the Betfred British Masters of two tournaments for Golfers with Disability. The 36-hole EDGA Scottish Open and the 36-hole EDGA Dubai Finale will be played over the weekends of two of this season’s biggest Rolex Series events, the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
"It's a fantastic accomplishment, we're both winners today but I'm getting the prize, it's really good,” said Lawlor.
"Disability golf is getting more and more seen now all over the world and the European Tour have joined with EDGA, so we're getting more chances like this to put on a wee show for the fans.
"That's unbelievable, it's mind-blowing to get the invite. It's my first outing in my first professional event. For a disability golfer to play, I think it's the first time it's ever happened so it will be huge step forward for golf, not only for myself but for disability golf, to show other people what I'm capable of, what Adem is capable of, what everyone is capable of doing. Don't let anything stop you."
Wahbi was the focus of the European Tour’s Player Blog during the week of the Belgian Knockout, receiving a number of messages from some of the world’s best golfers, and the talented local was more than happy to put on a show for his family and friends that had come out to watch.
"It was an amazing week, my social media was mind-blowing,” said Wahbi.
"I'm happy for golf and for disabled golf, disabled people and for Belgium, look at the weather here in Belgium, it's amazing,”
"It's really nice, it's not nice for my game because that was really bad, but I think it's nice for everyone to see that because you're disabled that you can't play golf or just go outside and do some sport.
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.
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