Chris Biggins, Bailey Bish Lead After Second Round of the 2024 USDGA Championship

April 23, 2024


Craig Dolch

By Craig Dolch

Special to the USDGA


For photos of Biggins and Bish, click here.

For Second Round results, click here.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (April 23, 2024) - Winning the 2019 USDGA Championship opened a lot of doors for Chris Biggins, qualifying him for several adaptive golf tournaments around the world.

He’s knocking on the door again after shooting a 2-over 73 Tuesday to take a two-shot lead in the men’s overall division entering the final round of the sixth USDGA Championship at PGA Golf Club.

“This event always holds a special place in my heart,” said Biggins, who is ranked as the No. 3 adaptive golfer in the world. “I’m sure it’s going to be a battle that will go down to the final hole.”

Bailey Bish of Tucson, Ariz., has a chance to defend her women’s overall title after a 78 provided her with a one-shot lead over reigning U.S. Adaptive Open champion Ryanne Jackson of Seminole, Fla.

Biggins is at 2-over 144 after two trips around the Ryder Course and leads by two over Albert Bowker (73) and by three over five-time PGA Tour winner Ken Green (73) and defending champion Chad Pfeifer (74).

Biggins, the director of Player Development at the Country Club of Birmingham, has made only four bogeys (with two birdies) in the first 36 holes. His rounds have been quite contrasting.

“I hit the ball much better in the first round, but didn’t make any putts,” said Biggins, who has cerebral palsy. “Today the wind was up, and my short game saved me. I wish I could combine those two.”

Bowker’s best finish was T21 at last year’s U.S. Adaptive Open at Pinehurst, third among the Short Stature participants. Playing in his first USGDA Championship, Bowker was even through 15 holes before two late bogeys left him two behind.

“I’m really stoked about the opportunity,” said Bowker, a 31-year-old from Santa Barbara, Calif. “I’m trying to focus on my swing and stay mentally locked in. I’m just staying in my own zone and not let anything get in my head.”

It has been 35 years since Green won the last of his five PGA Tour titles. He said before the tournament how much he’d like to experience the joy of winning one more time. If he’s going to win, he’ll need more than the one birdie he’s made in each of the first two rounds.

“One leg, one birdie … I guess that’s my role,” said Green, who lost part of his right leg in a 2009 RV accident. “I’ve got to make more birdies. You can’t catch anybody making pars, especially on the last day.”

Green still has a chance to lift a trophy – he has a five-shot lead over Robert Walden (73-152) in the Senior division.

“That would be good,” the 65-year-old Green said of winning the senior title. “I’m old, whether I’d like to believe it or not. It’s hard to compete against these, I hate to call them kids, but they’re 30 and 40 (yards) past me. A win is still important.”

Pfeifer played the par-5s in three-under, but made six bogeys as he struggled on the Ryder Course greens. Case in point: He hit it to 7 feet at the 18th hole and three-putted for bogey.

“I didn’t play bad, but didn’t play great,” said Pfeifer, who lost part of his left leg while serving in Iraq. “I got careless with the putter.”

Bish started the day two shots behind Jackson, but shot a 38 on her back nine to take the one-shot lead. Bish suffers from dystonia, a muscle disease, and uses crutches to go from her cart to hit shots. When asked by a volunteer how she had played, Bish provided some perspective about this event.

“No falls today,” said Bish, who wasn’t kidding. She fell three times during the first round.

Four years ago, Bish couldn’t play nine holes because of her condition. Little wonder she ranks last year’s victory as one of her top achievements.

“Winning last year’s tournament really helped me realize I am a good golfer and I do belong on the golf course against good players,” Bish said. “But I’m not thinking about winning. I’m focused on playing one shot at a time. If I do the best on every shot, we’ll see what the outcome is.”

Jackson also struggled on the greens Tuesday. She said she hasn’t made a putt longer than 5 feet in the first two rounds.

“It gets a bit frustrating at times,” Jackson said. “I haven’t played a round in seven months, but winning last year’s Adaptive Open gave me a lot of confidence. I definitely have to putt better.”

Dennis Walters, a World Golf Hall of Famer, withdrew during the second round with an illness.

The USDGA Championship is run by the U.S. Disabled Golf Association and Presented by the PGA of America.

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