Paul Lawrie joins field for Turkish Airlines Open

Paul Lawrie has secured an invitation for the Turkish Airlines Open in Belek, where a four-strong Scottish contingent will also include Marc Warren. Picture: Jane Barlow
Paul Lawrie has secured an invitation for the Turkish Airlines Open in Belek, where a four-strong Scottish contingent will also include Marc Warren. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Paul Lawrie has bolstered the Scottish contingent in this week’s Turkish Airlines Open to four after securing a late invitation for the first of the European Tour’s three Final Series events this season.

The Aberdonian, who joins Marc Warren, Richie Ramsay and David Drysdale in the field at Regnum Carya in Belek, will be making his first appearance in the event since he played in its inaugural staging in 2013.

The opportunity has been given to him by Chubby Chandler, whose management company, ISM, brokered the deal for the big-money tournament, with Lawrie joining Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke on the list of invitees.

“I got a text from Chubby last night saying he had got me an invitation, which is great as I really enjoyed the tournament when I played it a few years ago,” Lawrie told The Scotsman.

The 47-year-old ended the regular season by finishing fifth in the Portugal Masters last Sunday and added: “That was really good so hopefully I can keep it going this week.”

Meanwhile, Ross Kellett has vowed to learn from the disqualification that cost him a place in this week’s Challenge Tour Grand Final in Oman.

The Motherwell man signed for an incorrect score in the final round of the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge to finish 48th in the Road to Oman.

“A horrible feeling,” admitted Kellett of missing out on a cheque that would have been enough to get him to the season-ending event. “However, I will learn from it and move on.”

It was sore finish all round for the Scots in the second-tier circuit’s penultimate event of the season at Al Hamra Golf Club.

After getting himself to within a shot of the lead at the turn in the final round, Duncan Stewart started for home with three consecutive double-bogeys and ended up closing with a 75.

That dropped him 19 spots to joint-24th and also saw him slip one place to tenth in the Road to Oman heading into that Grand Final, which starts on Wednesday.

Scott Henry, who closed with a 70 to finish joint-32nd in Ras Al Khaimah, will be the only other Scot in that line-up after David Law’s late bid came up short.

Needing to finish second outright, the Aberdonian signed off with a 72 for a share of 11th. His main goal had been trying to climb into the top 70 on the money-list and secure a full Challenge Tour card again for next season.

However, the two-time Scottish Amateur champion fell agonisingly short as he ended the regular season sitting 72th in the rankings.

“I’m gutted, but I gave it my all this week,” said Law, who, due to Frenchman Romain Langasque having started the season as an amateur, actually came up just one spot short.

Both Kellett and Law now turn their attention to this week’s European Tour Qualfiying School in Spain, where the Scottish hopefuls at the second stage will also include Grant Forrest.

In his first Challenge Tour event as a professional, the 23-year-old gave a good account of himself in Ras Al Khaimah, finishing joint-32nd after rounds of 67-71-69-72.

As one event in the United Arab Emirates finished, another one got underway, with Paul Doherty getting off to a great start in the MENA Tour’s Tour Championship in Oman.

The former Scottish Boys’ champion carded a four-under-par 68 at Muscat Hills to sit joint-second, one shot behind English pacesetter Daniel Owen.

“Today’s golf was good,” said Doherty. “I had a wee tip off a good friend of mine on the Tour and managed to strike my irons a lot better to set up a lot of chances.

“I didn’t hole much but hopefully I will tomorrow. The birdies were all pretty close, which is a good sign.”

The top-three on the third-tier circuit’s money-list after the event get into the Dubai Desert Classic as well as spots in the Asian Tour Qualfying School. The top five also get Sunshine Tour cards.

“Those sort if rewards would be massive,” admitted Doherty, who got into this year’s Desert Classic on the European Tour through the same route, “but I believe I need to win for that to happen.”