Paul Lawrie excited to be host and defending champion in Scottish Senior Open

Talk about having your hands full. Not only is Paul Lawrie the host for this week’s Scottish Senior Open but he is also the defending champion.

Tournament host and defending champion Paul Lawrie tees off in the celebrity pro-am at Royal Aberdeen for the Scottish Senior Open. Picture: Getty Images

Changes have been made since the Aberdonian landed his maiden over-50s win in the event at Craigielaw in 2009 in his rookie senior season.

The European Senior Tour is now called the Legends Tour, with Lawrie joining Paul McGinley and Jean van de Velde in hosting a tournament on the 2021 schedule.

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The 52-year-old is taking on the role in his home city at Royal Aberdeen, where he is an honorary member and loves playing whenever he can.

Royal Aberdeen played host to the first three editions of the Scottish Open. Picture: David Cannon/Getty Images.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Lawrie. “It’s great to be able to welcome the Legends Tour to my home city and nice to play an event and stay in my own bed.

“I don’t get the chance to do that very often so that’ll be nice. It’s always good to play in front of a home crowd, too, so hopefully people come out to see some of the legends of the game.”

The 1999 Open champion and two-time Ryder Cup player is being joined in the field for the 54-hole event, which starts on Friday, by the likes of former Masters champion Ian Woosnam, US Open winner Michael Campbell and French pair Thomas Levet and Jean van de Velde.

Former Ryder Cup players Phillip Price, Philip Walton, Mark James, Peter Baker and David Gilford are also in line-up, with admission just £15 for adults and £10 for concessions (over 50s) on each day.

“It would be great to see lots of people out spectating and enjoying the quality of the golf these guys continue to produce,” added Lawrie, who showed his class by greeting every player competing in a pro-am on Wednesday on the first tee.

“With live sport having been off the agenda for most of us for a long time, I think people will really be able to enjoy getting out into the fresh air, savour the beautiful course and scenery and being safe.”

Royal Aberdeen hosted the first three editions of the Scottish Senior Open from 1993-1995 and also the 2005 Senior Open, won by Tom Watson.

Lawrie, who sits 11th on the Legends Tour rankings, said of his game: “It’s not been far away for me.

“There’s been a lot of good stuff and a few things that have frustrated me but that’s golf! Like I say, I’m looking forward to hosting this week and hopefully I’ll make a good defence of the title.

“I’m really enjoying seniors’ golf. It’s a lot more relaxed but there’s still a hugely competitive element to it. Of course, you still want to win when you step onto the tee.

“The competitive instinct kicks-in again. It’s just a little more friendly and relaxed compared to main tour golf.”

Former Scottish Open champion Levet is heading into the event on a high, having won the Legends Open de France on home soil by three shots last weekend.

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