8am Round-Up: Paul Lawrie looking for new caddie

Paul Lawrie is looking for a new caddie after Davy Kenny, who had been on the Aberdonian's bag for six years, decided to take a break from the game.

Davy Kenny and Paul Lawrie had worked together for six years, including the 2015 Open at St Andrews. Picture: Jane Barlow

The pair recorded three wins during their time together, which also coincided with Lawrie bridging a 13-year gap to make a Ryder Cup return as part of a winning team at Medinah in 2012.

“Davy told me after the final round in the Dubai Desert Classic that he’d be taking a break from caddying for a while,” said Lawrie. “We have had a fantastic six years together. He’s been awesome and I will really miss him, but I understand his decision.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Kenny is a fully-qualified PGA professional himself, having been attached to East Kilbride before turning to a caddying career just under 15 years ago.

“There’s no new bag, I’m just taking a break,” he said. “I’ve got no plans for the next couple of months. I will then look at my options, which may or may not involve caddying.”

Lawrie is in South Africa this week for the Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt, where he is being partnered by his youngest son, Michael. “I’ve have had a few enquiries already,” he said of his need for a new caddie. “There’s no rush, though, as I will be home for a few weeks after this event.”

Joining Lawrie in the Sunshine Tour event starting on Thursday are David Law, Ross Kellett and Bradley Neil while Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen are among the sporting celebrities teeing up.

***

Scottish duo Gemma Dryburgh and Michele Thomson are both preparing for their LPGA Tour debuts after securing spots in this week’s Australian Women’s Open.

The exciting opportunity has come about though the pair securing two of five spots up for grabs in the Royal Adelaide event through the ALPG Tour money-list.

Helped by two encouraging performances in the RACV Gold Coast Challenge and the Oates Vic Open, Thomson was sitting fourth at the cut-off, just ahead of Dryburgh, who claimed her first professional victory in the circuit’s Oatlands Pro-Am.

“I’m so excited to be playing my first LPGA event,” said Thomson, who couldn’t resist the opportunity to get her photograph taken with Lydia Ko after bumping into the world No 1 in the locker-room. “It’s a fantastic opportunity and should be a great week.”

The pair join Catriona Matthew in the field and Dryburgh said: “It has always been a goal of mine to play on the LPGA, so to get a taste of it this week is amazing.

“The course is looking really good and I love the layout so it’s going to be a very enjoyable week.

“The recent win really helped my chances. It has also given me a lot of confidence and something to build on for the rest of the year.”

English duo Charlotte Thomas and Felicity Johnson, along with Australian Hanee Song, were the other players to get into the field through the ALPG money-list.

Kelsey Macdonald missed out on her bid to bolster the Scottish contingent to four after she had to settle for a six-over-par 78 in today’s qualifier at The Grange.

The three spots up for grabs in that shoot-out all went to Europeans - Denmark’s Nanna Madsen and German duo Ann-Katherin Lindner Leticia Ras Anderica.

***

Dave Musgrove, who cadded for Sandy Lyle when he won both his majors, has passed away.

The Englishman was also on Lee Janzen’s bag when he won a brace of US Open titles and had a four-year spell with Seve Ballesteros.

***
Former European No 1 Ronan Rafferty shared top spot in a Golf Finance-sponsored Big Johnsons Tour event at Montrose Links.

The Scottish-based Northern Irishman carded a two-under-par 68 along with former Walker Cup player Michael Stewart.

The pair finished a shot ahead of John Henry in a 15-strong field that included former European Tour card holder Chris Doak.

***

Scottish duo Neil Henderson and Ryan Campbell are both sitting in the top 10 heading into the final round in the opening Evolve Pro Tour Winter Series event in Spain.

East Lothian man Henderson opened with rounds of 73 and 68 for -3 to sit joint-fourth on three-under, five behind the leader, Swede Henric Sturhed, at Lo Romero.

The Scot signed for 17 pars and one bogey in his opening round then had a mixed bag containing an eagle, six birdies, a double-bogey and two bogeys in second round.

Falkirk-attached Campbell sits tied for eighth after rounds of 73 and 69, which included a run of four birdies in a row from the 14th.

***

Walker Cup duo Ewen Ferguson and Jack McDonald are among five Scots in action in the Ein Bay Open, the first Alps Tour event of 2017, starting today at Sokhna Golf Club in Egypt.

Joe Knox, Jamie Savage and Daniel Young are also in the field for the first of two events in quick succession at the same venue, with The Red Sea Little Venice Open following on next Monday.

McDonald, who finished fifth in the third-tier circuit’s Qualifying School in Spain at the end of last year, has been preparing for the start of his season in Abu Dhabi, where Savage also spent some time en route to Egypt.

Clarke Lutton, who also secured a top-10 card at the Qualifying School, has opted to delay his start to the campaign.

***

Former Hearts finance director Stewart Fraser is set to be involved in a different ball game.

He is in line to become the new secretary/treasurer of the Lothians Golf Association, taking up the post later this month.

Fraser is an accountant with a background in a variety of retail businesses but mainly in the licensing trade.

He was the finance director/company secretary of Hearts for a number of years before taking up a similar part-time role at Dundee United.

Fraser, who will succeed Neil Park on February 27, has played golf since he was a teenager, initially at Bathgate.

He is currently a member of Dunfermline, and he plays regularly at Ratho Park, The Glen, North Berwick, Archerfield and Bathgate.

***

Italian Lorenzo Gagli completed a wire-to-wire win in the PGAs of Europe Lumine International Pro-Am.

A closing 73 for a three-under-par total saw him finish three shots clear of the field at the new venue for the European Tour Qualifying School final stage.