Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Paul Lawrie seeks third Qatar Masters title
Paul Lawrie  (Getty Images)
Paul Lawrie (Getty Images)
Paul Lawrie will be calling on his vast experience as he goes in search of a third victory at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters this week.
The Aberdonian won this title in 1999 and 2012, adding Open Championship glory at Carnoustie Golf Links just months later before the turn of the century and making the European Ryder Cup team in both of those seasons.
Lawrie turned 50 on New Year's Day, making him eligible for the Staysure Tour, and with no top ten since 2016, the man himself would almost certainly admit he is an outsider this week.
But the eight time European Tour winner has a fondness for both the layout and the expected windy conditions at Doha Golf Club, and is looking forward to a good week.
“Both wins were different," he said. "In 1999, I had an operation in the winter of 1998, played terribly the week before.

"I came here early, did a pile of practice and a pile of work. I recently joined up with Adam Hunter as my coach, so it was a huge win for us two. This win gave me the confidence for what happened at Carnoustie in the summer.
“In 2012, I was in the middle of an unbelievable run of success and good weeks.
"I’ve always enjoyed the course and the firmness of it. You have to shape the ball a little more than most courses.
“You have to be in control of your ball flight when the wind picks up. If you’re not in control and hitting little knock-down shots and hold-off shots, you’re going to be in trouble.
"I’ve always enjoyed playing golf like that. I was brought up playing golf on links courses in Scotland and knocking a five iron 120 yards has never been something I’ve struggled with, and you need that when the wind blows around here."

Lawrie's appearance in Oman last week is his first since last season's Trophée Hassan II due to a foot injury, and he arrived in Muscat with son Craig on the bag.
Craig - a professional himself - will caddie again this week in Doha, and Lawrie senior is delighted to have him out on Tour.
“Craig has caddied for me for a few weeks now and Michael, my youngest son, does it now and again," he said. "I enjoy having the boys out. I get on great with the two of them. I play a lot of golf with them when I’m not on Tour.
"They know my moods, which is an important thing.”



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