DUMPED by his caddie, turned down by his wife and defeated by his young protege. It was an eventful day for Paul Lawrie but, on the plus side, he’s heading into next week’s Dunhill Links Championship with a spring finally back in his step.
It follows the 44-year-old ending months of frustration on the greens as a change of putter reaped an instant reward.
“It was time to give Old Faithful a rest,” said Lawrie after he closed with a six-under-par 64, the joint-best of the week, to finish runner-up to fellow Aberdonian David Law in the third staging of his own Invitational event at Deeside.
“It’s always the way, isn’t it, as I didn’t play quite as well tee to green today but holing a few putts makes all the difference,” said Lawrie, who switched to a counter-balanced Odyssey Tank putter with a 38-inch shaft, about four inches longer than a standard putter.
“The longest putt I made was the 18-footer for birdie at the last, but the difference was the ones I was making shorter than that. I was missing them yesterday,” added Lawrie.
Having lost his caddie from the opening two days – Michael MacDougall, who helps run the former Open champion’s Foundation, had headed down to The Renaissance Club in East Lothian for an event there – Lawrie revealed he had asked wife Marian if she wanted to push his trolley on the final day.
“It was an immediate no,” he reported, although, in fairness to Mrs Lawrie, she was hard at work putting sponsor’s boards in place for the presentation ceremony as hubby was completing his final few holes, by which time heavy morning rain had just about stopped. “Not only was I ditched by the caddie but my wife also refused me and, into the bargain, there was the rain this morning, but I did alright anyway,” joked Lawrie, who won the Dunhill Links title in 2001 and would dearly love to repeat that feat next week in his bid to get back into the world’s top 50 as the Ryder Cup race starts in earnest.
Law, who is attached to the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, secured his third victory in a professional event as well as a £6,000 prize with a “stress-free” final round in an event aimed at giving young players like him a chance to test themselves against more experienced campaigners.
Four clear of the chasing pack at the start, the 22-year-old, who has been mentored by Lawrie from around the time he won the Scottish Boys at Royal Aberdeen in 2009, signed off with a 69 for an impressive 11-under-par total, winning by three from the host, with Montrose man Graeme Brown two shots further back in third.
“I managed my ball and myself well around the course and didn’t do anything outrageous,” said Law as he savoured adding to two title triumphs on the third-tier Pro Golf Tour – one in Morocco and the other Turkey – as well as the Northern Open he won as an amateur in 2011.
“It is fantastic to win this tournament because of the fact it is run by Paul,” added the two-times Scottish Amateur champion. “He’s shown a lot of faith in me over the last five years and it is nice to repay him.
“We first met when we were both coached by Neil Marr and when Paul had the idea of starting a team of players to look after, it was great for me. I could not have asked for more. He could have done it with anyone and I feel very lucky.
“The biggest help was with the transition from amateur to professional. As well as introducing me to sponsors and sponsoring me himself, he let me know there was plenty of time to get where I want to be. It’s not going to happen overnight and he gave me reassurance that there was a long way to go.”
Law, who was in a winning position before dropping shots at the final two holes, heads to Poland next week needing to hang on to his sixth spot on the Pro Golf Tour money-list to land a card for Europe’s second-tier Challenge Tour next year.
“It’s going to be pretty edgy but, hopefully, things will work out similar to here,” he said.