Paul Lawrie wins Staysure Tour Rookie of Year

Paul Lawrie capped his first season in the over-50s ranks by clinching the Staysure Rookie of the Year title with a top-ten finish in the MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius.

Paul Lawrie receives his Rookie of the Year trophy from Mark Aspland, head of the Staysure Tour.

The Aberdonian, who won the Scottish Seniors Open at Craigielaw in August, secured the prize after ending up 11th in the rankings behind Welshman Philip Price. Lawrie, who finished six spots ahead of his closest challenger, Englishman Gary Evans, in the rookie race, said he was “delighted” with his achievement.

In addition to his maiden win on home soil, Lawrie was second in the Austrian Senior Open and joint third in the Farmfoods European Senior Masters.

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The 1999 Open champion also recorded a top-20 finish behind German Bernhard Langer on his debut in the Senior Open Championship at Royal Lytham.

“Much better,” added Lawrie of his closing four-under 68 at Constance Belle Mare Plage, where Swede Jarmo Sandelin signed off with a 65 to claim his breakthrough win on the circuit.

The 52-year-old secured his first victory since the 2001 BMW Asian Open with a 12-under-par total, winning by three shots from overnight leader James Kingston.

“It’s been a long time,” said Sandelin, who played on the same Ryder Cup team as Lawrie at Brookline in 1999. “There has been a lot of practice balls, a lot of tears, and a lot of hard work in the gym. It’s nice to finally come through and win.”

Price held off a late challenge by South African Kingston to win the John Jacobs Trophy for the first time. “To be No 1 after 19 tournaments is really important to me,” said Price. “I’ve never won an Order of Merit of any type.”