Friday, December 12, 2008

Welcome back, Paul! Lawrie
named in Europe team to
play Asia at Bangkok

Paul Lawrie, the 1999 Open champion and Ryder Cup player the same year, has come in from the cold.
He has been named by Europe's captain, Jose Maria Olazabal in the team to play Asia for the Royal Trophy at Bangkok from January 9 to 11.
It's an early birthday present for Aberdonian Lawrie who will 40 on January 1.
The Scot joins England's Oliver Wilson, Paul McGinley of Ireland and Denmark's Soren Hansen in the squad. All have been Ryder Cup players.
"Paul brings to the team the experience and confidence of a major winner, the understanding of team golf acquired from being in the trenches in American soil at the Ryder Cup, and the talent and ability which has made him a great champion for so many years," said Olazabal who took over the captaincy responsibility from Seve Ballesteros shortly before his compatriot's release from hospital following brain surgery..
Lawrie won the 1999 Open in dramatic circumstances, coming from 10 strokes off the pace on the final day to reach a four-hole play-off where he beat American Justin Leonard and France's Jean Van de Velde at Carnoustie.
"When you play for Europe it is always an immense responsibility," Lawrie said. "You are representing our people and our history. I am committed to produce the best golf I am capable of, try as hard as I can and do everything possible to retain the solid-silver trophy in European hands."
The 2008 season was one of Paul's best since his peak year of 2009. He finished runner-up in the Portugal Masters and had several top-20 finishes.
The Asia team, captained by Joe Ozaki, includes Thai pair Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng, along with Japanese teen sensation Ryo Ishikawa and South Korea's S.K. Ho.
"We will be competing to defend European golf history, and we do not take it lightly," Olazabal said. "We are bringing to Thailand a fantastic European team heavy on team match-play experience and sharp on the production of highly efficient and precise golf.
"Make no mistake about it -- Europe is coming to Bangkok to win."



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