Masters: Lawrie frustrated as putting lets him down

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IT WAS hard to imagine anyone heading down Magnolia Lane last night feeling more frustrated than Paul Lawrie.

From tee to green, he probably played well enough to have been in contention for the Green Jacket. In what has become a common occurence, however, his putting wasn’t up to scratch.

“This has been the most frustrating week of my career,” admitted the Aberdonian after signing off with a 71 for a four-over-par total of 292 – three more than he posted on his return to the event 12 months ago after an eight-year absence.

“I didn’t deserve any better than my four-over on Thursday, but Friday, Saturday and Sunday, man, I played some golf this week and putted just like an idiot. It’s so disappointing.”

As had been the case on Saturday, Lawrie had 31 putts, four of which were required at the par-3 fourth as a double-bogey went down on the card there to wipe out earlier birdies at the first and third.

“I missed nine putts inside ten feet and six putts inside four feet. I can’t play any better and putt any worse, unfortunately.”

It’s been the same summary since the start of the season and Lawrie is finding it increasingly difficult to see a lot of hard work going unrewarded.

“It’s demoralising,” admitted the former Open champion, who now has a week off before heading to the Far East for events in China and Korea.

“In the four weeks I had off coming in here, I must have hit hundreds of putts every day and felt great. I putted okay the first day but then Friday, Saturday and Sunday have just been horrendous on the greens. Today was the worst for a long, long time.

“The greens were incredibly slow today for some reason. I don’t know why that is. A couple of times I left it short on putts that you think you couldn’t get it to stop short of the pin. And it would be like four or five feet short.”

Failing to do as well as he’d been hoping here has probably cost Lawrie a return ticket to next month’s Volvo Match Play Championship. “I probably won’t get in now as I think I needed a good week this week,” he said of an event being played this year in Bulgaria.