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Inspirational Kipp Popert Triumphs at The Belfry

By: | Mon 09 May 2022 | Comments


I WANT to give a shout-out to the DP World Tour for everything they are doing to promote the sport among the disabled community.

Kipp Popert, who has cerebral palsy, became the inaugural winner on the G4D (Golf for the Disabled) Tour after defeating Kurtis Barkley and Chris Biggins in a play-off at The Belfry, taking home the G4D @ Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett title.

Popert, Barkley and Biggins finished the 36-hole event on 147. The course measured 6,600 yards so there is no doubting the ability of these golfers. 

Indeed, Popert has ambitions to play on the full DP World Tour. And who is to say that he will not achieve his dream?

He lost much time in his teenage years due to nine surgeries and procedures on his legs and feet. In his school years there was a lot of falling down and picking himself up again, literally. There were cruel remarks from some classmates, but he has clearly developed a highly positive mindset, much encouraged by his parents who are both doctors. In short, he says, every day he is able to tell himself to ‘press on’.

“I was born 10 weeks premature and from what my parents tell me, a little bit of oxygen didn’t get to the back of my brain, so it didn’t develop properly. This meant that I have the condition Cerebral Palsy and the specific form is called Spastic diplegia. The spastic in the name comes from the spasticity in the muscles, so my muscles in my lower half are very tight, very contracted, which means mobility is an issue.”

Kipp adds: “I was so fortunate to have two parents who are doctors because since day one they have told me that I can do whatever I want in life, and my Dad is a surgeon, a urologist, so he knew doctors who specialised in helping children with Cerebral Palsy.”

At The Belfry, Biggins was eliminated on the first play-off hole after a bogey putt, while bogey was enough for Popert to secure victory on the second extra hole with Barkley only managing a double bogey.

Popert was thrilled to win the first G4D Tour event at a venue which holds so much significance.

“I went to Uni here a few years ago, so it’s really nice to win here in Birmingham,” said Popert, who is a member at Wildernesse Golf Club. “I was always aware of what was going on out on the course. I like feeling the pressure, I look forward to it and it’s why I practice, it’s my favourite part of what we do.

“I played okay this week, I struggled with a few starting lines and not hitting it as tight as I’d like. I made a few mental errors, going for shots I shouldn’t have. I had a triple on my card from the fourth hole, which could have easily been a bogey. My caddie, Hugo, made me lay-up on 18 on the second play-off hole, so I’ll probably give him this trophy as a thank you.”

Popert, aged 23, started the final round on the iconic Brabazon Course two strokes behind Barkley, but carded a one over par round to sign for a three over par total as he was joined on that number by Barkley and Biggins.

Popert made amends for his triple bogey on the fourth with three birdies before the turn, making his fourth gain of the day on 11. He doubled 12, but parred his way home as he signed for a one-over-par 73.

On the second extra hole, Popert had a three-foot putt to secure victory in the first of seven G4D Tour events taking place in 2022.

“At the EDGA Dubai Finale last year I missed a short right-to-left putt that I should have made, so I’ve been practicing really hard on those,” he added. “It was a really nice putt, so I’m really pleased it dropped.

“This Tour is only going to get bigger. It’s given me a platform to play golf after university. I’ve got high aspirations and want to keep pressing on. I’m very grateful for the opportunities that have been offered by the DP World Tour and the European Tour group, it’s just been brilliant.”

The G4D Tour features seven tournaments, culminating in the G4D Grand Finale in Dubai.

Make no mistake - these guys can really play.


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Tags: european tour dp world tour Disabled Golf





 




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