Paul Lawrie turns back clock in change of equipment

PAUL Lawrie, one of nine Scots in the field for the Qatar Masters starting today, is back playing with Wilson Staff clubs, the equipment he used to win The Open at Carnoustie more than a decade ago.

The Aberdonian, who first signed for Wilson in 1993, has re-joined Padraig Harrington as one of the company's 'staff advisory members' and is confident he's made the right decision by putting the latest Wilson Staff FG Tour irons and Tw9 wedges in his bag.

"I'm delighted to be back playing with Wilson Staff clubs and believe my game will benefit from using them in the months ahead," said Lawrie, the Qatar Masters winner in 1999, the same year of that Open triumph.

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The 41-year-old, who secured a top-30 finish in Abu Dhabi last week, played in an invitational pro-am in Dubai on Monday before having his first practice day in Doha interrupted by the windy conditions.

"On Tuesday I went up to the course to pitch and putt for a while," he said. "It was very windy so there was no point in hitting balls and I went to the mall to watch a movie."

Andrew Coltart, another of the Scots in the field, won the inaugural event in Doha in 1998 and he's out to make up for lost time this week, having been forced to withdraw from the Joburg Open a fortnight ago after missing a flight back from America. The former Ryder Cup player clearly likes the course in Qatar, having also finished seventh last year and 13th the season before that.

Colin Montgomerie, who'll get the chance to have a good look at Francesco Molinari, one of his Ryder Cup contenders, in the opening two rounds, has also moved on to Qatar for the second leg of the Middle East swing, as have Marc Warren, David Drysdale, Richie Ramsay, Stephen Gallacher, Gary Orr and Alastair Forsyth.

For the second week running, Peter Whiteford has just missed out on a place, the Fifer deciding it was too much of a gamble to make the journey after being contacted by the Tour earlier in the week to inform him that there was a chance of a late spot in the field.

European No 1 Lee Westwood, armed with a different set of clubs after missing the cut last week, tops a field featuring five of the world's top ten and nine of the top 20.

Martin Kaymer, who leapt to sixth in the world following last week's win over an equally high-class field in Abu Dhabi, runner-up Ian Poulter and former champion Henrik Stenson join the likes of Sergio Garcia and American Kenny Perry in another stellar line-up.

Players Championship winner Stenson has rejoined the US PGA Tour for the 2010 season. "Family-wise it's convenient and also all of the big events are pretty much in America from the Match Play up until the US Open and then I just add a couple in between," said Stenson, who was a member of the US circuit in 2007.