Paul Lawrie still feeling a bit below par as Scottish Open looms

Paul Lawrie at Gleneagles
Paul Lawrie at Gleneagles

Paul Lawrie admits he’s not playing well ahead of competing in the Scottish Open and The Open.

The 50-year-old has been on the comeback trail this year after foot surgery.

Lawrie will be at Renaissance this week for the Scottish Open and Royal Portrush next week for the Open Championship.

However the 1999 Open champion is not happy with his game and said: “The golf that I have played has not been very good. I’m finding it quite difficult to get back in.

“It’s not that my golf is poor or I’m struggling physically – my golf is just not the best.

“It’s not horrendous, I’ve just found it quite frustrating when you’ve been able to do something to a good level before then all of a sudden that level is 71-77 as opposed to 65-71.

“The surgeon said it would take a year for me to feel back to proper tournament sharp and I’m quite a long way off a year yet.

“It’s always nice to play in the Scottish Open. I think I’ve only missed it once since I got on Tour.

“But I’m a little apprehensive playing in a tournament of that size, then The Open right after, having not played a lot of golf and not playing very well.

“I’ve never been someone who is shy in my own confidence as a golfer. But I’m a wee bit fragile with my golf, which is the first time ever.

“There’s not much you can do. Your level is your level, you just have to do your best.”

Lawrie has also become an ambassador for September’s Solheim Cup which is being played at Gleneagles and yesterday beat European captain and fellow Scot Catriona Matthew 3&2 in a nine-hole challenge match at the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre in aid of the Paul Lawrie Foundation.

He added: “It’s a huge honour to be asked to do a little bit of help as an ambassador, I’m looking forward to it.

“I think it’s massive for the whole country. There’s a whole equality issue going on at the moment with ladies and mens sport so to have a tournament of that size in Scotland after the Ryder Cup being there in 2014 should be huge for everyone.

“I hope the country gets behind Catriona and the team and I’m sure they will.”

Looking ahead to the event, skipper Matthew said: “To have someone of Paul’s stature put his weight behind the event is great and if that can spur a few more people to come out and watch and support then so much the better.

“Until people come to an event like a Ryder Cup or Solheim Cup they just don’t realise how different it is from a regular tour event.

“The excitement and the crowds get far more into it. So to come and get the atmosphere will be a great experience for them.

“It’s a busy time with a lot of commitments, watching the players to see how they are playing and fielding frantic calls from players saying ‘I played better than the scores looked’.

“It’s good fun watching them and seeing how the team is developing. I think these last five or six weeks it can change quite a lot with two Majors still to come and a lot of big ranking points to be played for.

“It will be interesting to watch how the ones on the fringes play and who steps it up.”