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Kipp Popert Takes Commanding Lead At G4D Open, Woburn

Kipp Popert

Kipp Popert underlined his status as the world’s leading golfer with a disability by opening up a three-shot lead on day one of The G4D Open at Woburn.

The Englishman, 25, mixed six birdies with just two bogeys in an opening four-under-par 68 to highlight his position as the top-ranked player on the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD).

Popert, who has cerebral palsy, was runner-up to Irishman Brendan Lawlor in last year’s inaugural Championship and shone in the sun over the Duchess Course as he bids to add to his nine victories on the G4D Tour.

“It was a very solid round. It’s much easier than last year in the sense that last year was boggy due to the rain and this year it’s nice weather. For example, the tee shot on 17 is so much easier now because last year we had to take on the tree on the left. Whereas this year, you can just hit 5-iron and it runs down the slope. The greens are really good and the course is in great nick. Two more good days of golf and see how we go.”

Kipp Popert, England

Irishman Lawlor, ranked second in the world standings who has a rare condition called Ellis–van Creveld syndrome, admitted he could be set for another duel with Popert as he signed for a one-under-par 71, aided by a birdie on the last.

Mike Browne – who had his left leg amputated following a service injury – also posted a 71, a hugely impressive effort given the Englishman double-bogeyed the 5th before rallying.

Australian Lachlan Wood is on level par, with South African David Watts and Johan Kammerstad from Sweden next best-placed on one-over.

Another English player Thomas Blizzard, 18, sat an A-Level exam yesterday but kept his focus to sit inside the top ten after a 76.

Daphne van Houten from the Netherlands, the leading women’s player in the field, struck the opening tee shot on her way to an 82.

Established last year, the Championship – held in partnership between the DP World Tour and The R&A and supported by EDGA (formally the European Disabled Golf Association) – is one of the most inclusive ever staged.

The G4D Open features nine sport classes across multiple impairment groups, with 80 men and women players of both amateur and professional status representing 19 countries.

Contested over three days until Friday across 54 holes of gross stroke play, there will be an overall winner, along with an opposite-sex winner and a gross prize in each of the sport classes which cover various categories in Standing, Intellectual, Visual and Sitting.

England’s Tony Lloyd (Standing 1), was born with bilateral upper limb phocomelia (he refers to this as having elbow-length arms with no hands), and returned an 86 to highlight his skills.

Spectators are welcome to attend at Woburn for The G4D Open, with attendance and car parking free of charge.

View scoring from day one at The G4D Open here.