The Open: Paul Lawrie walks it off after Open chance ruined by ‘all-time worst putting’
PAUL Lawrie will step on to the Great Glen Way today – he’s doing a sponsored walk along with wife Marian and two other couples in memory of friend and coach Adam Hunter – feeling content that he won’t be picking up a golf club again until he heads to America next weekend.
The 1999 Open champion is particularly pleased he won’t be clapping eyes on his putter again in the next few days, having blamed the flat stick for falling away over the final two rounds in Lancashire and costing him a chance to secure his Ryder Cup spot later this year.
After taking just 23 putts in his opening 65, followed by 31 on Friday, the blade turned cold over the weekend as those statistics rose to 39 on Saturday then 34 yesterday. It left the Aberdonian, who closed with a 72 to finish four-over, feeling highly frustrated as he headed back north to prepare for that marathon walk from Fort William to Inverness.
“It was pretty much the same as yesterday [Saturday],” reported Lawrie. “I played nicely and just putted like an idiot. Typically, you get out there [on the practice putting green] and hole everything, the stroke is nice and the pace is good. But you then get on the course and it’s different.
“Yesterday was the all-time worst, so it couldn’t be as bad as that again. On Saturday it was a speed issue. I couldn’t get the pace of the greens for some reason. Speedwise it was better today, but I just holed nothing out there, which is so disappointing.”
It wasn’t down to the greens. “They were lovely,” added Lawrie. “If you got the ball rolling you could make a lot of putts. I did that on Thursday, when I putted beautifully and holed out well. But to then have 31, 39 and 34 putts is hopeless. You can’t give these guys as many shots as that every day.”
Finishing as top Scot among the six who started out in Lanacashire was of little consolation to the world No 31. “I think frustrated would be an understatment,” he remarked in summing up his week. “I’ve hit the ball extremely well and, had I finished in the top ten, I think that would have been fair. But you get weeks like that.
“I’ve got a week off now before the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the USPGA Championship. I’ll not be playing any golf because we’re doing the walk, which will be a good thing. There will be no golf at all this week. We start the walk late tomorrow afternoon and we finish on Saturday. I then fly to Akron on Sunday morning. The next ball I hit will be in Akron.”
Lawrie is still on course to be back on the Ryder Cup stage again after a 13-year absence. To contend again in the season’s final major – the USPGA at Kiawah Island – he says he will need to be firing on all cylinders. “You’ve got to have every part of your game together in these events,” said the 43-year-old. “You can’t have one part way off like my putting was this week.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
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Wind direction: West