Ever since he started out as a PGA Assistant Pro at Banchory, Paul Lawrie has been a proven winner and he’s wasted no time showing that in his new career in the senior ranks, writes Martin Dempster.
In just his sixth start in the over-50s game, the Aberdonian landed a sweet success by making a winning debut in the Scottish Senior Open at Craigielaw.
“It’s always nice to win in your own country,” said Lawrie after being the only player in a 54-strong field to finish under par after three windswept days on the East Lothian coast.
“That’s four tour titles now,” he added of a triumph that added to his wins the 1999 Open Championship, 2001 Dunhill Links Championship and 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship. “It doesn’t matter what tour you’re playing on, winning is not easy.”
This victory came just 12 months after Lawrie was sidelined after shutting down his 2018 campaign early due to foot and back issues. He eventually had surgery on his foot and only started played again at the start of this year.
“It’s a nice win as a year or so ago I didn’t know if I would even play again, so to win is pretty cool,” he added. “When I stopped and my foot was diagnosed as a torn ligament and a raptured tendon you think ‘man, that sounds pretty serious’.
“But my surgeon, Gordon Mackay, did a tremendous job and my foot is almost better than it was five or six years ago. Stuart Barton has done a great job physio-wise, too. The two of them have been brilliant. I didn’t think winning tournaments would happen.”
According to Lawrie’s fellow PGA Pro Andrew Oldcorn, this success will be the first of many for the two-time Ryder Cup player on the Staysure Tour.
“I know what it was like when I turned 50,” said the former PGA champion, who recently became an ambassador for Ratho Park. “You get that wee boost and it lasts for two or three seasons.
“When you are playing on the main tour and you are running out of your time, you are making up the numbers and there is nothing worse than that.
“When guys have that competitive burn inside them, to be going to tournaments to make up the numbers is a terrible feeling.
“When you become the youngest again all of a sudden, that first two or three years is when you feel born and you get the competitive juices flowing again.
“I bet he will say that he concentrated harder in the final two rounds at Craigielaw than he probably has for years.”