Paul Lawrie claims second win of season on Legends Tour after closing 65 at La Manga
In an event hosted by his fellow Ryder Cup player Peter Baker, Lawrie closed with a brilliant seven-under-par 65 at the Murcia venue before beating Swede Michael Jonzon with a birdie at the first extra hole.
This victory came on the back of the 53-year-old Aberdonian already winning the Farmfoods European Legends Links Championship at Trevose in June and was his third in total on the over-50s’ circuit after making a home breakthrough in the 2019 Scottish Senior Open at Craigielaw.
“Unexpected a wee bit, I suppose,” said Lawrie of his victory. “Michael obviously had a few shots to spare, but I obviously know more than anyone (having come from ten behind on the last day to win the 1999 Open) that it’s never over until it’s over. Delighted to win obviously. Second Farmfoods tournament win this year, so very nice."
Lawrie, who had opened with a 71 before catapulting himself into the top 10 on the back of a second-round 66, sparked his last-day charge with an eagle-2 at the fourth.
The 1999 Open champion then reeled off four birdies on the spin to turn in 31 before adding at the gains at the 13th and 18th on the inward journey as he closed with a bogey-free effort.
Jonzon, who had held a two-shot lead overnight, looked to be coasting to victory after he also went out in six-under, having birdied the first, third, fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth.
He looked to be wobbling a bit after starting the back nine by following a bogey-5 at the tenth with a double-bogey 7 at the next.
That damage was duly repaired by birdies at the 12th, 13th and 17th before another double-bogey 7 to finish left him having to settle for a closing 70.
That left him tied with Lawrie on 17-under and, as they returned to play the 18th again, Lawrie birdied it for a second time to claim a first prize worth €50,000.
“I struggled with the putter the first day I missed a lot of putts and the first nine the second day I didn’t play too good,” added Lawrie. “And then I changed my putter grip to a split-handed grip with about six or seven holes to go in the second round and rolled the ball really nicely.
“Played solid this week, played really nicely and, in the end, holed a few putts, which you need to do. I like a play-off - I’ve won one and lost one, so we’ll need to get the next one as well.”
Elsewhere, Spaniard Adrian Otaegui stormed to an impressive six-shot success in the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters at Valderrama, where he smashed the tournament record with a 19-under-par 265 total.
“Very very proud,” said Otaegui, who has played in three LIV Golf events, of his fourth DP World Tour triumph. “I feel so happy to have my first win in Spain on my favourite golf course in Spain. It is just unbelievable.”
Bob MacIntyre finished birdie-birdie to secure his third top-ten placing in four starts, with a closing four-under 67 lifting Richie Ramsay into the top 30.
Meanwhile, four-time major champion Brooks Koepka returned to winning ways as he beat close friend Peter Uihlein in a play-off to win the latest LIV Golf event at Royal Greens in Saudi Arabia. The duo finished on 12-under-par, one ahead of Joaquin Niemann and Sergio Garcia.
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