Popert wins English Open for Golfers with a Disability

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 24, 2021 20:41

Kipp Popert has claimed an emphatic victory at the English Open for Golfers with a Disability.

The talented Kent golfer showed his class to post rounds of 72 and 71 for a three-under par total and victory by seven shots over nearest challenger Bradley Smith from Royal Cromer.

Crosland Heath’s Sam MacDonald claimed third spot at the 36-hole event at Whittlebury Park, Northamptonshire.

Popert – playing off a handicap index of plus three – started the day five shots clear of the 2019 champion George Groves.

However, the world number two was unable to make an early move and hang onto his crown and eventually had to settle for fourth spot.

Popert – who has cerebral palsy affecting his lower body – comfortably made it to the turn in one over par.

Kipp Popert. Image by Leaderboard Photography

Two birdies at the first and fifth holes were wiped out by dropped shots at the second, sixth and eighth.

The member at Wildernesse Golf Club then turned the screw early in the back nine with birdies at the 10th and 11th and was able to play the final holes without any real pressure from the chasing pack.

A birdie at the 18th allowed Popert to finish with a flourish.

At least for MacDonald there was the consolation of winning the men’s handicap section of the main event with a two round net total of nine-under par.

Popert’s two-round tally showed just why he harbours ambitions of turning pro and pushing for tour status now that he has finished his studies.

He said: “Winning always feels good – it was really good, a nice week.

“I got on well with the course – there’s a lot of carries so I was trying not to put it in the water in the last round!

“I was very solid, not many mistakes and I missed in the right places.

“It’s always a good competition – I get on with George Groves and play with George a lot so it’s been really good.”

In the women’s handicap competition, Nicky Weeks from Camberley Heath emerged victorious, five shots clear of Woking’s Aimi Bullock.

There was success for Graeme Mazur in the Stableford section of the championship.

The golfer from Nevill Golf Club posted a 36-hole total of 70 points to win by six from Worldham’s Iain Millar.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 24, 2021 20:41
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