London Golf Club has underlined its commitment to making golf accessible to players of all backgrounds after it successfully hosted the EDGA Cazoo Classic to cap off a momentous return to the European Tour calendar.
As part of the Cazoo Classic, formerly known as the English Open, eight golfers taken from the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) had the opportunity to tackle the same course set-up as the European Tour professionals with a 36-hole tournament organised by the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA).
The event, which also took place on the esteemed Jack Nicklaus-designed Heritage Course, was the culmination of four qualifying events across the UK, with a total of 16 disabled players competing to secure one of only eight places at the EDGA Dubai Finale, which will be held alongside the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – the final Rolex Series event of the year – at Jumeirah Golf Estates in November.
Chris Biggins, from Alabama, triumphed at London Golf Club after carding the best round of the tournament on the final day, a level par 72. Biggins, 29, plays with a neurological disability, cerebral palsy, and became the first American to win an EDGA European Tour title, booking a winner’s place in Dubai’s finale.
London Golf Club’s chief executive, Stephen Follett, shares the EDGA’s vision to get more people with a disability to try golf. He said: “These remarkable people are what sport is all about and we were delighted to host them at the club this week.
“To overcome what some might consider as ‘barriers’ to compete at this level is both humbling and inspirational. There was some amazing golf played over the two days and some exceptional scoring – with the toughest possible set-up of our course.
“We’re hoping that the great work the EDGA is doing to raise the profile of its events, along with the support of the European Tour, will inspire even more disabled people to try golf and experience the vast amount of benefits it can offer them – both mentally and physically. Here at London Golf Club, we have everything in place to support golfers of all backgrounds in reaching their maximum potential.”
Tony Bennett, president of the EDGA, said: “I’d like to thank The European Tour and London Golf Club for an outstanding week of golf. Our players were full of praise for the course, with many compliments on the excellent condition of the greens, tee boxes and fairways. A huge kudos to the greenkeeping staff and everyone involved for putting on such a smooth, well-executed tournament. I think we’re all hoping we can return again in the future!”
The Tour event was dramatically won by 26-year-old Scotsman Calum Hill, who held his nerve on the final hole to edge a one-shot victory and take home his maiden European Tour title, finishing the tournament on an impressive 16-under-par.