Thirteen years after coming from ten shots behind going into the final round to win the Open at Carnoustie, Lawrie found himself in contention to lift the Claret Jug for a second time.
An opening five-under-par 67 – which featured two chip-ins for birdie in the space of three holes – gave the 43-year-old a share of second place overnight, just one shot behind world No. 13 Adam Scott.
And while winning another major title would be a massive achievement in itself – especially after a best finish of 42nd in 12 Open appearances since Carnoustie – it would also seal a return to the Ryder Cup 13 years after the so-called ‘Battle of Brookline’.
Lawrie claimed three and a half points in Europe’s narrow defeat and would love to experience the contest again, especially after playing alongside US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love yesterday and today.
“We spoke a little bit about the Ryder Cup and how he was looking forward to being the captain, and it’s a huge honour for him,” said Lawrie.
“Obviously I’ve got a little bit of work to do before that (Ryder Cup qualification) happens. There’s still four to five weeks to go and I’m not a guarantee yet so I need to finish off this week and play as well as I can, and hopefully I can play against his team.”
Lawrie won the Qatar Masters earlier this season and was joint second in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth behind world No. 1 Luke Donald, but missed the cut in last week’s Scottish Open in Inverness after a “horrific” putting display.
Lawrie shared second place with former Masters champion Zach Johnson and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts on a leaderboard that also featured Ernie Els, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods in joint sixth on three under.