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A new location leads to scoring

Bailey Bish made US Adaptive Open history on Monday.

Jeff Haynes/USGA

Defending US Adaptive Open champion Kipp Popert arrived at Sand Creek Station this week and liked what he saw.

“There aren’t too many accidents out there. The fairways are very forgiving, and I’m a very good wedge player, which is my strength, and putting. To be honest, a lot of drivers and wedges,” Popert said on Sunday. “I think the goals could be very good this week.”

Popert backed that up on Monday in the first round of the tournament. The 25-year-old Englishman birdied three of the first four holes at Sand Creek Station in Newton, Kan., and played his final three holes in three under to take the lead after a 7-under 65 in the men’s Round 1. side of the US Adaptive Open.

Thanks to six birdies and an eagle in all, the 65 is the lowest score by two shots in the short history of the tournament.

Playing in the Mentally Handicapped category, Popert, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, hopes to continue to dominate adaptive golf. After winning at Pinehurst No. 6 last year, Popert won the 2024 G4D Open in May to hold both the British and American dynamic national championships.

He leads the overall men’s division by two strokes and leads the Neurological Disorders division by eight.

“This course is designed to score points,” Popert said. “There is no great difficulty. It’s really good, yes, it’s almost hard to be honest, if you miss the fairways. And my roads – from Europe – are great.

“I know if you play this course and play smart you will make a lot of birdies. Avoiding bogeys is a priority for me to be honest.”

But if he succeeds this week, he will not only become the first multiple-time US Adaptive Open winner, but also the first to win a title outside of Pinehurst.

The third edition of the event was moved from Pinehurst No. 6, where the first two tournaments were contested, was moved to Sand Creek Station, about 30 miles north of Wichita, Kan., and Popert wasn’t the only player to take advantage of the more forgiving area.

When Popert won in 2023, his winning total was below par and only three players (all men) had red figures. After one round, there are 10 males and one female under the category.

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Three of these players are from the same team. Chad Pfiefer, Brendan Lawlor and Bailey Bish went deep on Monday, shooting 68s and 69s, respectively.

“It definitely helps when you have other people in the team who play very well. It’s good to have both,” said Pfeifer, a US vet who lost his lower left leg in an explosion in 2007 while serving in Iraq. He has also appeared on the Golf Channel reality shows “Big Break” and “Neshotmakers.” “Brendan came out of the gate and drilled the first two holes and then caught them.

“Bailey was amazing. I mean, he was consistent all day and made some good putts. He’s really happy to shoot so slowly.”

Bish’s two-under 69 wasn’t just his career best by two shots. It was the first round under the women’s division at the US Adaptive Open. She leads the overall women’s division by six strokes over defending champion, Ryanne Jackson, who both play in the Neurological Impairment category. Kim Moore, who once held the record of 73, is three years away from Jackson, but he plays in the lower limb handicap category.

“This course is soft, which prepares me well,” Bish said when comparing Pinehurst to Sand Creek Station. “My game really improved a lot last year. I think that’s what allowed me to do well this year.”

US Adaptive Open Round 1 Leaders

You can find the full score here.

Men Overall:
1. Kipp Popert, 65 -7
2. Juan Postigo, 67 -5
T3. Chad Pfeifer, 68 -4
Simon Seungmin Lee

Overall for Women:
1. Bailey Bish, 69 -3
T2. Ryanne Jackson, 75 +3
Kim Moore

Mental Disorders in Men:
1. Simon Seungmin Lee, 68 -4
2. William Jacobse, 74 +2
3. Kody Conover, 76 +4

Mental Retardation in Women:
1. Amy Bockersette, 81 +9
2. Natasha Stasiuk, 84 +12
3. Tessa Trojan, 87 +15

For men Paralysis of the Lower Limbs:
1. Juan Postigo, 67 -5
2. Chad Pfeifer, 68, -4
3. Austin Brown, 71 -1

Women’s Paralysis of the Lower Limbs:
1. Kim Moore, 75 +3
2. Mandi Sedlak, 79 +7
3. Nancy Lee, 82 +10

Male Multiple Organ Syndrome:
1. Evan Mathias, 69 -3
T2. Erik Bowen, 71-1
Issa Nlareb

The Female Body of Multiple Organs:
1. Rose Veldman, 85 +13

Male Sensory Impairment:
1. Kipp Popert, 65 -7
2. Vince Biser, 73 +1
3. Ford Martin, 75 +3

Sensory Disabilities in Women:
1. Bailey Bish, 69 -3
2. Ryanne Jackson, 75 +3
3. Chris Oviatt, 77 +5

Male Seated Players:
1. Thomas Duffy, 75 +3
2. Max Togisala, 76 +4
3. Mariano Tubio, 77 +5

Seated Female Players:
1. Annie Hayes, 90 +18

For men Short Status:
1. Brendan Lawlor, 69 -3
2. Kurtis Barkley, 70 -2
3. Ricky Reilly, 74, +2

For men Paralysis of the Upper Limbs:
T1. Chris Willis, 72 E
T1. Robert Walden
3. Eli Villanueva, 74 +2

Women’s Paralysis of the Upper Limbs:
1. Cathy Walch, 81 +9
2. Sophia Howard, 83 +11
3. Abigail Davis, 86 +14

For men Vision Impairment:
1. Kiefer Jones, 72 E
2. Tyler Cashman, 87 +15
3. Jake Olson, 91 +19

Women’s Vision Impairment:
1. Amanda Cunha, 81 +9

Jack Hirsh Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A native of Pennsylvania, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was the captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as the head coach. Jack is also *still* trying to stay competitive with the local novices. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a reporter/multimedia reporter, but also producing, anchoring and presenting even the weather. He can be reached at

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