PAUL Lawrie hopes Stephen Gallacher is given more than 30 seconds’ notice if he gets the honour of hitting the opening blow in Scotland’s first Ryder Cup since 1973.
When Lawrie made his debut at Brookline in 1999, the Aberdonian didn’t know until the last minute that Colin Montgomerie, his playing partner, wanted him to be first on the tee in the event’s opening match.
“Oh aye,” replied Lawrie to being asked if he’d recommend Gallacher finding himself in the same nerve-racking position as a rookie. “Not maybe 30 seconds before you’re going to hit it – I wouldn’t recommend that, especially away from home, when everyone there is just hoping that you top it or duff it. But, after that, it’s just an awesome experience.”
Lawrie, who also played on the winning team at Medinah two years ago, added: ‘It would be nice if Stevie was in that first group on Friday, as the only Scot in the team in front of a home crowd. But it would have to fit in with what Paul (McGinley) wants to do.”
Lawrie believes Gallacher could be paired with Welshman Jamie Donaldson, even though they are two of three rookies in the home ranks. “He gets on really well with Jamie,” said the 1999 Open champion. “I can see those two doing something great – Jamie has become a hell of a player, a world-class player.
‘But Stevie could play with anyone. He’s a great guy, gets on well with everyone.”
That includes No 1 Rory McIlroy, who was tweeting furiously in praise of him when he sealed his wildcard selection in the Italian Open last month.