Ryder Cup: ‘Lawrie is a better player now than at Brookline’
COLIN Montgomerie expects compatriot Paul Lawrie to be a success on his Ryder Cup return, insisting the Aberdonian is an even better player now than the rookie who picked up three-and-a-half points out of five at Brookline 13 years ago.
“He coped very well,” said Montgomerie, recalling Lawrie’s only other appearance in the event, when he not only played with his fellow Scot but had the knee-knocking task of hitting the first shot of the match in front of a worldwide TV audience.
“We managed to beat Phil Mickelson and David Duval, who I think were the No 1 and No 2 in the world at the time. We got two-and-a-half points and then Paul went on to win his singles against Jeff Maggert.
“I think Paul is now a better player than he was then. I also think that experience of playing in America will stand him in good stead this week.”
While Jose Maria Olazabal, the European captain, has a wealth of talent at his disposal in Chicago, Montgomerie is hoping to see Lawrie in the Spaniard’s line-up for the opening session.
“I do hope Paul starts on Friday morning,” added the Sky Sports analyst, claiming his successor could probably pair Lawrie with anyone else in the team and feel confident about them delivering the goods.
“I can’t pick Olazabal’s brains to the degree of saying who I think Paul will be playing with, but he will be a super partner for for whoever he is put with. He is playing the golf of his life and he is confident. So I am looking forward to to Paul’s success this week, I really am.”
Lawrie was due to be one of just three European players on the flight today to Chicago, where the rest of the team are heading straight from the Tour Championship in Atlanta or, alternatively, their homes in America.
Olazabal and Davis Love III, his American counterpart, are due to hold their first press conferences of the week at Medinah this afternoon.
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