Brendan Lawlor rounded off a fine individual year by winning the European Disabled Golfer’s Association (EDGA) Dubai Finale by four shots at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Lawlor carded a one-over 73 on the Earth Course for a winning total of one under, holding off the challenge of Canadian Kurtis Barkley for his third victory in the five-event series.
The 24-year-old Irishman held a two-shot overnight lead after opening with a 70 on Friday, but after a level-par front nine, that lead was cut to just a single shot on the 14th.
Barkley, who was two over on the front nine, birdied the 10th to apply some pressure at the top of the leaderboard, moving to one over as Lawlor slipped back to levels due to three bogeys and one birdie after the turn.
However, Barkley dropped shots on 16 and 18 to finish with. a 75, while Lawlor birdied 15 and 17 either side of a bogey on 16 to move back into the red for the tournament, safely making par on 18 to seal a four-shot victory.
Barkley finished runner up on three over, while Kent’s Kipp Popert shared third with fellow Englishman Mike Browne on six over. Italy’s Tommaso Perrino finished fifth, America’s Christ Biggins sixth, Sweden’s Felix Norrman seventh and Belgium’s Adem Wahbi completed the leaderboard in eighth.
“Going into the back nine I was actually quite nervous as I knew I had a bit of a lead,” said Lawlor, who is now expected to return to the top in the world ranking for Golfers with Disability. “It was down to two at one stage and my putting wasn’t one hundred percent, but I got the job done and that is what matters.”
He added: “I have learned a lot since the EDGA events have started. Most importantly, I’ve learned to be patient. If I was in today’s situation about two years ago, I reckon I would have lost my head, but I had faith in my abilities to make birdies out there and I knew I could make a few on the back nine. Dad was very good today, kept me calm when I needed to stay calm.
“Hopefully the European Tour have more events next year, which I think they will, and we can keep this ball rolling as it’s just fantastic. I came off the green there and Rory McIlroy gave me congratulations so that is pretty outrageous.”
Lawlor also won the first two tournaments of 2021, the EDGA Cazoo Open at Celtic Manor and the ISPS HANDA World Disability Invitational at Massereene and Galgorm, with American Chris Biggins winning the EDGA Cazoo Classic and Kipp Popert claiming the EDGA Hero Open.
The EDGA Dubai Finale took place concurrently with the second and third rounds of the European Tour’s season-ending Rolex Series event, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, which itself concludes on Sunday. Lawlor will receive his trophy as part of the live presentation alongside the winner of that tournament and the winner of the European Tour’s season-long Race to Dubai.