Justin Walters takes three-shot lead in wet start to UK Championship

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Justin Walters leads the UK Championship with a three-shot lead after bad weather affected the opening day of the tournament.

Play was halted for over four hours at the Belfry after heavy rain caused flooding on parts of the course.

South Africa’s Walters still managed to card a bogey-free 64 to take the lead into the second day of the tournament with a chasing pack of Bernd Wiesberger, Benjamin Hebert, Joel Sjoholm and Scott Vincent three off on five under.

Martin Kaymer and Ross Fischer sit one shot behind on four under par.

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.”

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.

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