Sunday, February 19, 2017

Paul Lawrie wins by one stroke in exciting

finish in South Africa

Paul Lawrie with the Dimension Data Pro-am winning pro trophy.

Paul Lawrie is back in the winner's enclosure! Today the 48-year-old Aberdonian, the 1999 Open champion at Carnoustie, won the individual professional 72-hole competition, part of the Dimension Data pro-am competition at Fancourt Country Club, in the city of George in South Africa's Western Cape.
It was his first win in four years.
Lawrie had rounds of 69, 69, 69 and 67 for a 15-under-par total of 274 (the third round was over the par-73 Links course).
Hitting the front for the first time on the inward half of the final round in an exciting finish contested by four players, Paul won by one stroke from England's Chris Lloyd (68-71-66-70), Chris Swanepoel (South Africa) (69-70-66-70) and American Justin Hicks (70-71-68-66) who tied for second place on 275.
Lee Westwood finished 17th on 279 with scores of 68, 74, 67 and 70.
Paul Lawrie and his younger son Michael finished joint fourth on 30 under par in the pro-am pairs event won by R. Gobel and L Canter (England) with an aggregate of 33 under par.
Said Michael: "We had a great week, finished -30 as a team. All three courses are fantastic. Pretty cool to be playing with Dad for his win."

PAR 289 (3x72, 1 x 73)
274 Paul Lawrie (Sco) 69 69 69 67
275 Chris Swanepoel (SAf) 69 70 66 70, Chris Lloyd (Eng) 68 71 66 70, Justin Hicks (USA) 70 71 68 66.
276 Lyle Rowe (SAf) 70 72 68 66, Toby Tree (Eng) 70 72 68 66, Christian Bezuidenhout (SAf) 68 77 64 67.

279 Lee Westwood (Eng) 68 74 67 70 (17th)

Paul's first win for four years


Scotland's Paul Lawrie became the fourth person to win both the Dimension Data Pro-Am and The Open Championship when he took the 2017 Dimension Data Pro-Am by one stroke on Sunday. Unlike the others, he won The Open first.
He joined Nick Price, Darren Clarke and Louis Oosthuizen as the only players to win both, but Paul won his major championship back in 1999. Today in South Africa he held off the challenge of Justin Hicks of the United States, local player Chris Swanepoel, and England’s Chris Lloyd after rounds on each of the courses at Fancourt Hotel and Golf Estate, and then the final round on Montagu.
Lawrie was bogey-free in his final round of five-under-par 67 after turning in three-under, and, in the end, the other players were unable to take advantage of whatever chances came their way.
“I got off to a nice start today and just kept it going,” said Paul. “But, again, I didn’t make a lot of putts on the back nine. I birdied 10 with about a six-footer and I two-putted the last for birdie. But overall, I’m obviously delighted. I haven’t won in four years, so it’s great to come here and win – especially playing with one of my sons.”

He was partnered with younger son Michael (pictured) for the pro-am tournament, as was Lee Westwood, the 2000 Dimension Data Pro-Am champion, with his son Sam. With a friendly wager on the outcome, honours were even, the Lawrie and Westwood pairs tieing for fourth place with 30 under par aggregates - three behind the winners, R Gobel and L Canter.
“Any time Lee Westwood’s in the field, you’ve got to play well,” said Lawrie.
And Lawrie, in joining Westwood as a winner of the tournament, has given himself a good start to his golfing year.
“The win gives me a big boost,” he said. “Tee-to-green this week, I’ve hardly put a foot wrong all week, and I’ve holed a few putts. I’m going to take a bit of a break now and spend a few weeks at home and come back out with that boost in my confidence.”
In addition, he gets a place in the WGC-Bridgestone Championship at Firestone GC, Akron, Ohio from August 3 to 6.
“I didn’t know until last night that I would get into the WGC-Bridgestone event if I won here  – maybe that’s why I played so well today!” he laughed.
 “But that’s a nice bonus. First and foremost, you’re here to play as well as you can, and if you’ve got a chance on the back nine and you take it, then the bonuses come.”
He put his hand up to challenge for the title with his opening three rounds of 69-69-69, which put him two off the pace going into the final round.
“Yesterday afternoon, I hit it really nicely and didn’t make any putts on the back nine,” he said. “I kind of felt I was playing really well, and then it fell into place today.”



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