Golf Australia

Nicholas locks in Dubai start

Geoff Nicholas
Geoff Nicholas on Metropolitan's 18th green during the 2018 ISPS Handa Disabled Golf Cup.

Australian Geoff Nicholas will play in the inaugural EDGA Dubai Finale as part of the European Tour's DP World Tour Championship in November.

Nicholas, of Sydney, was one of six golfers picked via the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability to play the 36-hole event that takes place on the same course as the European Tour's season-ending grand final.

Golf Australia national inclusion manager Christian Hamilton was ecstatic not only for Nicholas, but also that the event continues to highlight golf's world-leading practices for athletes with disability.

"We saw it at the Australian All Abilities Championship last year in Sydney, now there's been some more great tournaments held around the world where inclusivity is highlighted and paramount," Hamilton said.

"The EDGA Scottish Open alongside the regular European Tour event in July was resoundingly successful, too, so we are absolutely delighted that they're going to have another key event in one of their biggest weeks of the year.

"And what an opportunity for Geoff! He's had such a great year, including making the main British Senior Open field, and this is a great reward."

The final two berths in the eight-player field will be wildcard selections made in coming weeks.

Alongside Nicholas and EDGA Scottish Open champion Brendan Lawlor, of Ireland, the other initial qualifiers for the Dubai event on on 22-23 November are Englishmen George Groves and Mike Browne, Frenchman Charles-Henri Quélin and American Chris Biggins.

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “I am delighted to welcome the initial six players into the field for the EDGA Dubai Finale, as we continue our work alongside the EDGA to offer golfers with disability the opportunity to play competitive tournaments at our highest profile events.

“The EDGA Scottish Open in July was a tremendous success for everyone involved and, very quickly, everyone was talking about the ability of the golfers rather than their disability. I know that will be the case once again in Dubai in November.”

EDGA president and head of disability and inclusion for the International Golf Federation, Tony Bennett, added: “The last five years have seen unprecedented growth in golf for the disabled.

"Evermore national golf federations appreciate that golf can be one of the most inclusive sports of all. Even the most profoundly impaired have an opportunity to sample, participate, or compete in golf.

“A growing body of evidence points to the benefits of a sustained period in the outdoors, the importance of both health-enhancing physical activity, and social inclusion. Golf provides these opportunities.

“EDGA applauds DP World and the European Tour for their vision to bring the EDGA Finale under the concluding event of the Race to Dubai at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. This Rolex Series event will provide a magnificent backdrop to celebrate the abilities of some of the finest golfers with disability in the world.”

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