Paul Lawrie leads Scots at Gleneagles

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PAUL Lawrie, the defending champion, will spearhead a 20-strong home challenge in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles later this month.

‘“I am really excited to return to Gleneagles because last year’s win meant so much to me,” admitted the Aberdonian, who celebrated clinching his Ryder Cup return by winning for the third time on Scottish soil.

“It is always a pleasure to play in front of my home fans in Scotland and now that The Open is over, the Johnnie Walker Championship is the next chance for me to play there so it is something that I am looking forward to.”

Lawrie will be joined by two of his team-mates from the winning European Ryder Cup team at Medinah, Italy’s Francesco Molinari and Belgian big-hitter Nicolas Colsaerts, as well as Paul McGinley, the captain for next year’s match at Gleneagles.

It had been hoped that some of the other players likely to be in contention for McGinley’s team might have made an effort to play in Perthshire, especially as this event is not being held next year. But that hasn’t happened and neither has the possibility of some of the leading Americans coming over, though former USPGA champion Shaun Micheel is in the field along with Peter Uihlein and Brooks Kopeka.