Chris Biggins said it was a “dream come true” to claim a maiden EDGA European Tour victory at the EDGA Cazoo Classic, after he overcame last week’s winner Kipp Popert in a thrilling finale to book his place in the season-ending finale in Dubai.
The 29-year-old from Alabama, who has Cerebral Palsy, became the first American to win an EDGA European Tour title after carding the best round of the tournament on the final day, a level par 72 which included a two under front nine.
Playing in the penultimate group, Biggins put all the pressure on Popert by setting the clubhouse target at five over par. Popert lipped out for birdie on the 17th meaning he needed a birdie finish on the challenging 18th hole.
The Kent player found the right green-side bunker with his approach and could not hole out from there, handing Biggins an emotional victory which makes him one of the eight qualifiers for the EDGA Dubai Finale, which will be held alongside the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – the final Rolex Series event of the 2021 Race to Dubai season.
“This is a dream come true,” said Biggins, a PGA of America teaching professional at Country Club of Birmingham in Alabama. “That is not a lie, I cannot believe that I won this. It’s such an incredible group of golfers I played against this week.
“This has been a goal of mine ever since the first one in 2019 and it seemed unattainable at first because the golfers were that much better than me. To be standing here today, I just want to thank all my friends, my coaches, the juniors at Country Club of Birmingham that pushed me and taught me. It feels so great to be holding this trophy.
“I was playing pretty well today but I did not look at the scoreboard. I didn’t know what anyone was doing. I made a double at the last yesterday so today I stepped up on the tee, hit my best drive of the day, confidently finished it and it turned out it was good enough.”
Biggins, who won the US Disabled Open Golf Championship in 2019, is an inspirational figure who is also a competitive Alpine Skier, and he believes sport has given him an avenue to live the fullest life he possibly can with his condition.
“Golf is my life and sports are my life,” he said. “Early on I was told I had to live like an athlete, otherwise my body would break down and my disability really needed me to do that. So I tried to play sports with my brothers, ended up not making the baseball team in high school.
“Golf was the one that called out to me because I could compete and it was just the score on the scorecard that mattered, not how it it looks when you play. So I just fought and I like succeeding in golf, and it’s brought me here and it’s a dream come true.
“This is a dream I didn’t have a couple of years ago because it wasn’t there. EDGA and the European Tour created this for us, created a stage to play on, showcase our talent to the world and I can’t thank them enough for making this happen.
“I know Tony (Bennett) and all the staff do a tremendous amount of work to make this possible for us and thanks so much to EDGA and the European Tour for letting us come here.”
Popert had already qualified for the EDGA Dubai Finale courtesy of last week’s win, while Adem Wahbi of Belgium and Canadian Kurtis Barkley were the final two to qualify through the Rankings.
Irishman Brendan Lawlor, who picked up two wins, Tomasso Perrino of Italy, Swede Felix Norrman and Englishman Mike Browne are the four players to have qualified in the first section, during the opening two of the four UK Swing events.
Scoring for the EDGA tournaments features on the European Tour’s website and App for fans to follow, while the tournament world feed broadcast will also feature updates across the weekend, with the winners also part of the main prize-giving ceremonies.
Rankings after the 2021 EDGA Cazoo Classic:
|Posn||Player||Points before||This week||Final Points|
|1||Kipp POPERT (ENG)||24||18||42|
|2||Chris BIGGINS (USA)||16||24||40|
|3||Adem WAHBI (BEL)||16||10||26|
|4||Kurtis BARKLEY (CAN)||10||14||24|
|5||Masato KOYAMADA (JPN)||8||5||13|
|6||Tero Tapani PELTOLA (FIN)||2||8||10|
|7||Petri TAKKUNEN (FIN)||4||5||9|
|8||Vincent HELLY (FRA)||6||2||8|
‘Golf for Good’ is the umbrella name for the European Tour’s overarching Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. It involves three main pillars:
Support for Worthy Causes: Which embraces all the charitable activity of the original 2020 Golf for Good initiative
Sustainability: Which embraces the Green Drive focus around our tournaments
Inclusivity and Health: Which embraces our Golfers with Disability and golf for all messaging, in addition to promoting the wider health benefits of the game
EDGA European Tour Schedule
EDGA Cazoo Open – The Celtic Manor Resort (July 24-25)
ISPS HANDA World Disability Invitational presented by Brendan Lawlor – Massereene and Galgorm Castle (July 31 – August 1)
EDGA Hero Open – Fairmont St Andrews (August 7-8)
EDGA Cazoo Classic – London Golf Club (August 14-15)
EDGA Dubai Finale – Jumeirah Golf Estates (November 19-20)