Saturday, May 02, 2015

Sunday start as Paul Lawrie bids to complete 

Scottish title treble over span of 23 years
Paul Lawrie will bid to win a third Scottish professional championship over a 23-year span when he tees it up over the King's Course in the Gleneagles Hotel-sponsored £40,000 72-hole stroke-play tournament which starts on a Sunday and offers a £6,000 first prize.
He won the title for the first time at Cardross in 1992, which was his first year on the European Tour and also the year he won the European Under-25s championship. Paul won his second Scottish pro championship at Gleneagles in 2005.
So why is Lawrie playing in what will be the 99th staging of the Scottish pro championship since it was first held, at Cardross, in 1908?
As a man who is 26th on the European Tour's career money list with  12,123,346 euros to his credit, Paul certainly does not need the money and as he says "I don't need to play in it but I learned my trade on the Tartan Tour and when I have the chance to play in events on the domestic tour, then I feel should as a kind of payback for all it taught me.
"I haven't played in the Scottish PGA Championship for a while but I'm really looking forward to it.  It'll be good to catch up with guys I played with years ago," said Paul.
Having an Open champion in the field is always good for the image and the PGA in Scotland are eternally grateful for what Lawrie has done and is doing for the game north of the Border - even south of the border later this year with the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Matchplay at Murcar Links and the Europro Tour event at Newmachar.
Lawrie clinched the second of his two Ryder Cup honours by winning the Johnnie Walker Championship, a European Tour event, over the Centenary course at Gleneagles  in 2012.
Brian Mair, secretary of the PGA in Scotland, says:
“It is testament to the stature of the venue that we have attracted such a strong field. To have the likes of Paul teeing up is a great fillip for the Tartan Tour and our flagship event and typifies Paul’s support of golf in Scotland.

"We have started on a Sunday in the past – to be honest, no particular reason other than working with the sponsors, Gleneagles, to ensure the dates work for both parties."
 Paul's first ever victory as a professional was in the Moray Sea Foods Open at Buckpool in 1986 which was a non-SPGA event and he was only one year into his training as a PGA assistant under the late Doug Smart at Banchory.
Paul also won the Scottish young professionals championship - or assistants championship as it was known then - at Cruden Bay in 1990. 

Other victories on the Tartan Tour includ the 2002 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish pro match-play championship, a tournament which has not been played for several years.
In all, Lawrie has won eight European Tour events
What Paul needs is to put a competitive edge back on his game - injury lay-offs have contributed to his decline as a force on the European Tour - so that he can make an impact on his three-in-a-row European Tour foray: the Spanish Open (May 14-17), the BMW PGA Championship (May 21-24) and the Irish Open (May 28-31).
The longer-term objective for Lawrie is to become competitive again over the next four years on the European Tour so that he is ready to step on to the Seniors Tour and be a success, as Colin Montgomerie has been.

Lawrie will tee off at Gleneagles on Sunday at 10am with Gavin Hay (Nairn Dunbar) and Neil Fenwick (Dunbar) as partners. Their Monday tee time is 2pm
Paul will be under no illusions that he has only to turn up to win.
With Greig Hutcheon and Graeme Fox (the 2012 winner), to name but two of the leading Tartan Tour players, in the field, Lawrie will have to play well to finish ahead of them.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google