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'A week to change my life': Lawlor on European Tour debut

(Reuters) - Brendan Lawlor shot a 12-over-par 84 in the first round of the UK Championship but the 22-year-old, who became the first golfer with disabilities to compete on the European Tour on Thursday, said scoring is immaterial in a week that will change his life.

The Irishman has a rare condition called Ellis-van Creveld syndrome, a disability characterised by a shorter stature and shorter limbs. He was invited to compete in the Aug. 27-30 UK Championship by his sponsor, the tournament’s title partners.

“The nerves were fine, just the usual first tee nerves,” said Lawlor, who turned professional last year. “I hit a good one down the middle on the first and sort of relaxed then.

“It’s a week to change my life and other people’s lives, so just go out and enjoy it and that’s what I did. I didn’t have any expectations of scores. I’m just so grateful to be competing on the same stage as these guys.”

Justin Walters shot an 8-under 64 to take the clubhouse lead before play was suspended due to heavy rain and flooding.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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