HOME TALENT PAUL ELLISON JOINS GLOBAL FIELD FOR INAUGURAL EDGA SCOTTISH OPEN.
Players from across the globe will tee up for the first ever EDGA Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club this weekend, as part of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open schedule.
Ten male golfers taken from the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) will have the opportunity to tackle the same course set up as the European Tour professionals on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July.
The 36-hole EDGA Scottish Open is the first of two disability championships scheduled alongside Rolex Series events on the 2019 Race to Dubai with the 36-hole EDGA Dubai Finale due to feature as part of the season DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates in November.
Scotland’s Paul Ellison will fly the home flag as he joins a strong field in a significant milestone in the European Tour’s drive for inclusivity in golf.
The Scot, who lives with the debilitating condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, believes it’s a big moment for disability golf:
“For us to be part of this tournament set-up is exceptional. EDGA and European Tour have done a great job and I hope this will be a stepping stone to do more. It’s a great opportunity for everyone involved.”
The 43-year-old, a former caddie of over 20 years at St. Andrew’s, is relishing the challenging facing the field at Renaissance:
“Preparation has been very good. I’ve been working hard on my game; I practice whenever I can. I obviously still work (for St. Andrew’s Links Trust), but whether it be before work or after, I’ve tried to put in as much preparation time as possible. My game’s been good, but this will be a big challenge – obviously the golf course is considerably more difficult to what we’re used to. I’m really looking forward to it.
The EDGA Scottish Open field will tackle the same course setup as the European Tour professionals at the Renaissance Club, teeing off approximately one hour and 40 minutes before play begins in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open on Saturday and Sunday morning.
Scoring for the tournament will feature on the European Tour’s website and App for fans to follow, while television coverage will form part of the world feed broadcast, and the winner in Scotland will also take part in the main prizegiving ceremony on Sunday afternoon.
With both the European Tour and EDGA (European Disabled Golf Association) striving to create a lasting legacy through the event, EDGA is offering free golf lessons with professional coaches to spectators with a disability throughout the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, from July 10-14.
FULL ENTRY LIST – 2019 EDGA SCOTTISH OPEN
Category 1 – The leading six available players from the World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) week 20.
George Groves – England
George Groves is the current World Number one. George has Erbs Palsy, which is a paralysis of the left arm and is the result of a medical accident at birth. George is currently world number one.
Brendan Lawlor – Ireland
Brendan Lawlor is the World Number three and plays off scratch. Suffering from ellis–van creveld syndrome, a disability characterised by a shorter stature and shorter limbs, Brendan has claimed the All-Ireland titles at both under 16 and senior levels.
Adem Wahbi – Belgium
20 year old Adem Wahbi is World Number Six and was born with spastic diplegia, which is a form of cerebral palsy. Adem recently competed in a demonstration at the Belgian Knockout on the European Tour.
Geoff Nicholas – Australia
World Number Nine Geoff Nicholas was as a Thalidomide child. Geoff overcame the loss of his right leg and in 1992 became a PGA of Australia Tour player. Geoff is one of the most decorated golfers with disability in the world.
Shane Luke – Australia
The World Number Eight, Shane Luke overcame bone cancer and amputation to become a multiple champion golfer. The Sydney-sider has been a consistent winner in events for disabled golfers and is a regular competitor in able-bodied events.
Joakim Björkman – Sweden
Joakim Bjorkman is a two time winning European Team Championship player for Sweden. Joakim’s diagnosis is that of achondroplasia, which means short stature. Joakim is a thoughtful man, who realises that golf and the golfers who surround him, have given his life much more meaning and joy.
The leading home nation player in the WR4GD
Paul Ellison – Scotland
Leading Scottish Golfer with a disability Paul Ellison, who has worked at the St Andrews Links for many years, has Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia Condition, which makes walking particularly painful.
USGA nominated player
Christopher Biggins USA
US-born Chris Biggins has overcome cerebral palsy to become a PGA of America member, head coach of his club’s junior programme and accomplished Paralympic skier.
Golf RSA nominated player
Reinard Schuhknecht – South Africa
Reinhard Schuhknecht lost his right arm at the age of 14. Reinhard hit a 378-meter drive when taking part in the Re-Max Long Drive championships in Jamaica and is a three-time World One-Arm champion.
Mike Browne – England
Professional Mike Browne is a former Royal Artillery Gunner and is UK based. Mike broke his leg in a training exercise before infection resulted in an elective amputation. Current World Number Five.
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About The European Tour
The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage, combining innovation, diversity and world-class golf. In 2019, the European Tour International Schedule will feature a minimum of 46 tournaments in 31 countries, including eight Rolex Series events, all part of the Race to Dubai.
Celebrating the global connectivity of the European Tour and Dubai, the Race to Dubai is a season-long competition to crown the European Tour’s Number One player, an honour which in 2018 went to Italy’s Francesco Molinari for the first time, and which, since 2009, has also been achieved three times by Rory McIlroy, twice by Henrik Stenson, and once each by Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald and Tommy Fleetwood.
Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 28 Members celebrate a total of 54 Major Championship titles between them, enjoyed 11 Members attaining the pinnacle of World Number One and has celebrated its diversity as players from 36 different countries have won on the Tour.
The European Tour also manages the developmental Challenge Tour and the Staysure Tour (formerly known as the Senior Tour) which is the men’s professional golf tour for members aged 50 and older.
The European Tour is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup. In 2018, the 42nd staging of the biennial contest between Europe and the United States of America took place at Le Golf National, France, from September 28-30. Europe were the victors with a score of 17.5-10.5.
The European Tour broadcasts live coverage of its tournaments to more than 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2,200 global broadcast hours for each event. It also enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Callaway, Dubai Duty Free, Emirates and Hilton as Official Partners.
About the Rolex Series
The Rolex Series is the premium event category on the European Tour’s International Schedule, comprising eight events in 2019, staged in a variety of world-class golfing locations around the world, each with a minimum prize fund of US$7 million.
Showcasing innovation, enhanced broadcast and digital coverage, and world class players, the list of champions includes some of golf’s most distinguished names.
The Rolex Series was launched in 2017, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of Rolex’s enduring partnership with the European Tour.
It returns for the third consecutive year in 2019, comprising: the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA (January 16-19); Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (July 4-7); the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 11-14); BMW PGA Championship (September 19-22); Italian Open (October 10-13); Turkish Airlines Open (November 7-10); Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player (November 14-17); and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai (November 21-24), where the leading golfer on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex will be crowned.
About Aberdeen Standard Investments
Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) is a leading global asset manager dedicated to creating long-term value for our clients, and is a brand of the investment businesses of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life Investments.
With over 1,000 investment professionals we manage £505 billion (US$643 billion, as at 31 December 2018) of assets worldwide. We have clients in 80 countries supported by 50 relationship offices. This ensures we are close to our clients and the markets in which they invest.
We are high-conviction; long-term investors who believe teamwork and collaboration are the key to delivering repeatable, superior investment performance. We are resolute in our commitment to active asset management.
ASI is the asset management business of Standard Life Aberdeen plc, one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Standard Life Aberdeen plc is headquartered in Scotland. It has around 1.2 million shareholders and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The Standard Life Aberdeen group was formed by the merger of Standard Life plc and Aberdeen Asset Management PLC on 14 August 2017. www.aberdeenstandard.com
About Scotland, the Home of Golf
Scotland is renowned around the world as the Home of Golf. It is the birthplace of the game and to this day remains its spiritual home. It is also a modern, dynamic and world-class golf events and tourism destination welcoming hundreds of thousands of golfers every year and regularly playing host to the biggest tournaments in the world.
The golf industry in Scotland is worth more than £1 billion annually to the Scottish economy, of which golf events and golf tourism plays a major role.
Through activity delivered by organisations including VisitScotland, Scottish Development International and Scottish Golf, the Scottish Government is committed to continuing to support the growth of the game in this country. This includes; supporting economic and business growth within the Scottish economy, driving increased participation in the sport and helping to nurture the next generation of Scottish golfing stars through the Clubgolf programme of junior golf activities.
For more information on the Scottish Government and its partners: www.scotland.org | www.visitscotland.com | www.scotent.co.uk |www.sdi.co.uk | www.scottishgolf.org | www.clubgolfscotland.com