Players from across the globe will tee up for the first ever EDGA Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club this weekend, as part of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open schedule.
Ten male golfers taken from the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) will have the opportunity to tackle the same course set up as the European Tour professionals on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July.
The 36-hole EDGA Scottish Open is the first of two disability championships scheduled alongside Rolex Series events on the 2019 Race to Dubai with the 36-hole EDGA Dubai Finale due to feature as part of the season DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates in November.
Scotland’s Paul Ellison will fly the home flag as he joins a strong field in a significant milestone in the European Tour’s drive for inclusivity in golf.
The Scot, who lives with the debilitating condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, believes it’s a big moment for disability golf:
“For us to be part of this tournament set-up is exceptional. EDGA and European Tour have done a great job and I hope this will be a stepping stone to do more. It’s a great opportunity for everyone involved.”
The 43-year-old, a former caddie of over 20 years at St. Andrew’s, is relishing the challenging facing the field at Renaissance:
“Preparation has been very good. I’ve been working hard on my game; I practice whenever I can. I obviously still work (for St. Andrew’s Links Trust), but whether it be before work or after, I’ve tried to put in as much preparation time as possible. My game’s been good, but this will be a big challenge – obviously the golf course is considerably more difficult to what we’re used to. I’m really looking forward to it.
The EDGA Scottish Open field will tackle the same course setup as the European Tour professionals at the Renaissance Club, teeing off approximately one hour and 40 minutes before play begins in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open on Saturday and Sunday morning.
Scoring for the tournament will feature on the European Tour’s website and App for fans to follow, while television coverage 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.
With both the European Tour and EDGA (European Disabled Golf Association) striving to create a lasting legacy through the event, EDGA is offering free golf lessons with professional coaches to spectators with a disability throughout the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, from July 10-14.
Full Entry List – 2019 EDGA Scottish Open
Category 1 - The leading six available players from the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) week 20.
George Groves - England
George Groves is the current World Number one. George has Erbs Palsy, which is a paralysis of the left arm and is the result of a medical accident at birth. George is currently world number one.
Brendan Lawlor - Ireland
Brendan Lawlor is the World Number three and plays off scratch. Suffering from ellis–van creveld syndrome, a disability characterised by a shorter stature and shorter limbs, Brendan has claimed the All-Ireland titles at both under 16 and senior levels.
Adem Wahbi - Belgium
20 year old Adem Wahbi is World Number Sixand was born with spastic diplegia, which is a form of cerebral palsy. Adem recently competed in a demonstration at the Belgian Knockout on the European Tour.
Geoff Nicholas - Australia
World Number NineGeoff Nicholas was as a Thalidomide child. Geoff overcame the loss of his right leg and in 1992 became a PGA of Australia Tour player. Geoff is one of the most decorated golfers with disability in the world.
Shane Luke - Australia
The World Number Eight, Shane Luke overcame bone cancer and amputation to become a multiple champion golfer. The Sydney-sider has been a consistent winner in events for disabled golfers and is a regular competitor in able-bodied events.
Joakim Björkman – Sweden
Joakim Bjorkman is a two time winning European Team Championship player for Sweden. Joakim’s diagnosis is that of achondroplasia, which means short stature. Joakim is a thoughtful man, who realises that golf and the golfers who surround him, have given his life much more meaning and joy.
Category 2 - The leading home nation player in the WR4GD
Paul Ellison - Scotland
Leading Scottish Golfer with a disability Paul Ellison, who has worked at the St Andrews Links for many years, has Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia Condition, which makes walking particularly painful.
Category 3 - USGA nominated player
Christopher Biggins USA
US-born Chris Biggins has overcome cerebral palsy to become a PGA of America member, head coach of his club’s junior programme and accomplished Paralympic skier.
Category 4 - Golf RSA nominated player
Reinard Schuhknecht - South Africa
Reinhard Schuhknecht lost his right arm at the age of 14. Reinhard hit a 378-meter drive when taking part in the Re-Max Long Drive championships in Jamaica and is a three-time World One-Arm champion.
Mike Browne – England
ProfessionalMikeBrowne is a former Royal Artillery Gunner and is UK based. Mike broke his leg in a training exercise before infection resulted in an elective amputation.Current World Number Five.