10 May 2023 | All Abilities |
G4D Open: Wood accepts challenge of a 'major'
by Australian Golf Media
By Jim Tucker
Lachie Wood slept in his car and racked up more than 40,000 kilometres on the open road last year in the build-up to the peak event for the world’s best golfers with disability.
His start at The G4D Open at Woburn in England from Wednesday is the realisation of hard work and ambition for the one-marker from Hervey Bay Golf Club.
The 54-hole tournament, launched by The R&A, is the “major” for all abilities golfers in the eyes of Wood and the three other competing Australians Cam Pollard, Geoff Nicholas and Adam Letherbarrow.
Wood’s recent 71-75 effort for four-over-par at the Queensland All Inclusive Championship at Redcliffe Golf Club was his fourth title this year. The Victorian Inclusive Championships, the TPS Hunter Valley All Abilities Championship and the New Zealand All Abilities Open have also fed his winning confidence.
He’s motivated to now prove himself at Woburn in the company of golfers like Ireland’s world No.2 Brendan Lawlor and English rankings-leader Kipp Popert, winner of the Australian All Abilities Championship last December in Melbourne.
Wood had his first look at Woburn in a Monday practice round with Popert, who was born with a form of cerebral palsy.
“It is exciting to think how far I’ve come this year from 50th to the world top 10 and what a good performance this week could mean,” Wood said.
“Last year, I had a mattress in the back of my SUV so I could sleep a night when I was driving around Queensland to different Monday trainee pro-ams as part of the PGA Membership Pathway program.”
Cool, cloudy English weather this week poses its own hurdle for a golfer who has a shorter left leg held together by 14 screws and a plate since the major car accident that changed his life in his teens.
He feels the colder conditions through his hips, back and the metal in his legs which is one of the reasons he relocated to the warming Queensland sunshine from Rosebud on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
The field of 80 men and women drawn to The G4D Open represent the resilience of the human spirit as well the doorway that golf has opened for many. The upbeat Wood openly says golf "has changed my life", even saved it.
Last month, Lawlor revelled in playing the ISPS HANDA Championship Japan on equal footing with the pros of the DP World Tour.
With 81-77, he missed the cut but changed perceptions for anyone who watched the high standard of his play.
The Irishman’s shorter stature and limbs stem from being born with the rare bone disorder Ellis-van Creveld Syndrome.
“It was a true honour in Japan to spread the word about disability golf to show that anything is possible. I try to surround myself with the best golfers so I can see how my game stands up,” Lawlor said. Information on the G4D Open
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