Paul Lawrie to take 17 Scots pros on Portugal trip

FOR the second time in the space of three months, Paul Lawrie is taking a group of Scottish professionals to Portugal through funding from his foundation.

Lawrie looks to pass on his experience to the younger pros. Picture: Jane Barlow
Lawrie looks to pass on his experience to the younger pros. Picture: Jane Barlow

An 18-strong group – six more than the one that was at Pestana Vila Sol in December – heads out tomorrow to Penina, where they will play a practice round on Wednesday ahead of a 54-hole event running from Thursday to Saturday.

“The first one was really good and we are going to do at least two per year,” said 1999 Open champion Lawrie. “We’ve got more players this time and more money on offer in the prize fund.”

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Ex-European Tour winner Alastair Forsyth is again accompanying the Aberdonian as the pair attempt to pass on their vast experience to younger compatriots.

They include Lawrie’s eldest son Craig, as well as well as David Law and Ross Kellett, who recently became attached to the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre.

“In addition to the financial support that the Foundation provides, to have the ability to contact Paul on anything golf related is invaluable,” said Motherwell man Kellett. “Paul is a class act on and off the course and to join his stable of supported players is a real honour.”

Newcomers on this week’s trip include former EuroPro Tour No 1 Paul McKechnie and two ex-Scottish amateur champions in Michael Stewart and Callum Macaulay. “Unfortunately, I have no status anywhere this year other than maybe 3-4 EuroPro Tour events, so I appreciate this opportunity to play competitively,” said Macaulay. “It’s no secret what Paul does for Scottish golf and it’s great to be involved with not only his players, but some other great Scottish ones, too.”

Lawrie’s caddie, Davy Kenny, is also in the group, which is completed by Neil Fenwick, Greg McBain, Scott Henderson, Greig Hutcheon, Malcolm Isaacs, Paul Doherty, Kris Nicol, Philip McLean and Jordan Findlay.

On the amateur front, Thornhill’s Greig Marchbank was top Scot, lying joint ninth, after a two-under-par 70 in the opening round of the Northern Amateur at Randpark in South Africa.