Printer Friendly

Day you dwell on by-gone glory is day you chuck it; Says PAUL LAWRIE.


MUCH water has passed under the bridges that cross Carnoustie's Barry Burn in the 10 years since Paul Lawrie won The Open in a breathtaking climax.

The Aberdonian has not always been given the adulation he deserves, thanks to the preoccupation with Jean Van de Velde's implosion on the 18th.

But don't expect Lawrie to be grasping for another belated sliver of the limelight when this week's milestone anniversary presents an open goal for easy publicity. Not Paul. Not his style.

That's why talk of releasing a limited edition of commemorative prints was quickly knocked on the head.

And why the notion of auctioning signed memorabilia to raise money for his junior golf foundation was replaced by a charity pro-am at Loch Lomond last Monday.

A modest but shrewd move to deflect attention towards the celebs rather than it being all about Lawrie.

And it's also why the inevitable questions harking back to Van de Velde standing in the Barry Burn with his trouser legs rolled up will be met with polite but short answers. Because Paul isn't interested. The only Open he is focusing on is the next one, the one he wants to win - and believes he still can.

He said: "There were a few ideas regarding the 10th anniversary but we decided to leave it.

"You can enjoy anniversaries when you've retired - like the Aberdeen European Cup Winners' Cup team - but not while you're still competing.

"The day you start dwelling on the past is the day your career is in big trouble. I'm going to Turnberry to WIN.

"It will be at least another 10 years before I start thinking my full-time career on the main tour is finished.

"Only then would it be time to reminisce and pat myself on the back for what I've achieved. Right now I'm still going hell for leather. I've just turned 40 and believe I will win more tournaments in this decade than I did during my 20s and 30s.

"The problem is I'm not putting as well. If that clicks I could challenge at Turnberry."

Lawrie has not won on tour for seven years but his belief burns stronger than ever. And when that is backed up by the world's best player, who is going to argue?

Horror While Carnoustie 1999 is a closed chapter, Lawrie is happy to draw on memories of The Open's last visit to the Angus links in 2007 when he was paired with Tiger Woods for the first two days.

Tee to green he outplayed the world No.1, only to be more like a boy lost in the woods when he stepped on the short stuff.

He rates that horror putting display as the biggest disappointment of his career, missing the cut by a single shot despite having hit the ball beautifully. Tiger recognised it too and said as much to Lawrie as he trudged down the 18th.

The Scot said: "I hit the ball flush for two days and still shot five over. It was the hardest blow to take.

"Had I been two or three shots ahead after two rounds it would have been about right. But I was going home instead.

"It was probably the worst I have ever putted as a pro - I had 37 on the first day and 38 on the second.

"Tiger told me how well I had played and even mentioned something about the putter face.

"He struggled at that Open and played poorly for two days yet still finished 12th in the tournament. That's the difference.

"I played considerably better golf than him but missed the cut while he toiled but finished just outside the top 10. That's what champions do. It's nice when the best player in the world pays you a compliment but my own belief that I can win another Major has always been there.

"If I get four decent days with the putter I won't be far away this week because I don't think the scoring will be that good at Turnberry.

"They're talking about the rough being really high and the fairways being bouncy.

"Tiger has always said you don't have to play that well to win Majors, you just have to keep the big mistakes off the card. Carnoustie was like that when I won.

"I just played solid. I didn't play great but was one of only two people who didn't make a double bogey all week.

"Avoid the big mistakes because they will crucify you. From what I've heard Turnberry sounds like it might be the same, especially if the wind blows."

Ailsa Craig, 354 yds, par 4: A comfortable start masks the severe challenge ahead. Big hitters will find the green driveable if the wind is helping so don't be surprised to see eagle chances. But danger lurks on the left, with new bunkers at 280 and 300 yards, while anything sliced right could be dead in a gully thick with rough.

Woe-be-tide, 166 yds, par 3: Close to the edge of the coast, wind can wreak havoc here. Especially with the green falling off sharply to the left and front where a cavernous bunker awaits. Landing on steep bank to the right leaves a fearful chip out of rough to a fast, sloping green.

Roon The Ben, 538 yds, par 5: A beautiful and dramatic par five rising towards the famous lighthouse. Lengthened by 10 yards, with bunkers lying either side at the angle of the dog-leg left. Short of the green a deep crater has been cut in to the left of the fairway. Will feel like a long slog in to the jaws of the wind.

Dinna Fouter, 456 yds, par 4: A dramatic new tee has been built on a rock outcrop near the lighthouse to make this just as exciting a drive as the previous hole. The fairway has been cut closer to the beach and three bunkers near the landing area adds to the difficulty off the tee.

Tickly Tap, 410 yds, par 4: This dog-leg right has an additional bunker down the left and new ridge on the right to make the drive more testing but again it should be one of the more straightforward holes for the Claret Jug hopefuls. The green is perched up to make any misjudged approach shots more complicated.

Wee Burn, 455 yds, par 4: The course's biggest change looks set to claim many victims this week. The fairway has moved significantly left to turn this in to a dog-leg that makes the second shot over the burn even tougher. The green is a small target bordered by slopes leading to water front and right.

Mak Siccar, 428 yds, par 4: The greenside bunker short left has been cut slightly closer to the putting surface to gather any undercooked approach shots. The fairway bunkers will also make players think off the tee and some may choose to lay up short of those traps and risk a longer iron to the flag.

Fin Me Oot, 474 yds, par 4: Another example of the course's reinvention. Old tee has been brought back in to play, adding 33 yards to the dog-leg left. Trade-off for the extra length is a better view of the fairway. There are new bunkers on right at 290 and 320 yards to trap overhit drives.

Goat Fell, 454 yds, par 4: Now 24 yards longer with a new tee that straightens the hole, the big worry is the tee shot. Anyone who goes too wide to avoid new right-hand bunkers at 300 and 325 yards is forgetting about the rough on the other side. Get it right though and you have a short iron to the two-tiered green.

Maidens, 175 yds, par 3: Out of bounds lurks to the left by the coast but it is only a really bad shot or severe gust of wind that gets anywhere close to that. The bunkers on both sides will occupy the players' minds more but this should be one of the easier tests of the day.

Risk-an-Hope, 448 yds, par 4: A tee on the adjoining Kintyre course creates more of an angle and there are two newly added bunkers to the right plus humps and hollows on the left. However, this is the calm before the storm of a thrilling grandstand finish and avoiding dropped shots is a must.

Lang Whang, 559 yds, par 5: The longest hole sees the tee pushed back 61 yards thanks to the re-routing of the 16th. Nick Price eagled here as he overhauled leader Jesper Parnevik to win in 1994 - but new approach bunkers and another by the green will make that feat a lot harder this year.

Blaw Wearie, 489 yds, par 4: One of many extended holes on the course, the new back tee adds 27 yards and makes a real hazard of the two left-hand bunkers at 260 and 300 yards. There used to be another trap to the left of the green but that has now been transformed into an equally dangerous grassy hollow.

Tappie Toorie, 231 yds, par 3: A brute of a par three. Don't be surprised to see pros hitting a driver to reach the green if the wind gets up. There are three traps to the left but the one on the short right is evil as they come, especially as anything underhit will find a wicked slope feeding in to it.

Bruce's Castle, 449 yds, par 4: A favourite for photographers due to its picturesque location on the cliff edge in front of the lighthouse. One of the most iconic tee shots in golf and the hole is unchanged from the 1994 Open with its tricky hog's back fairway. The remains of Robert the Bruce's castle can be seen from the green.

Monument, 451 yds, par 4: Again accuracy off the tee is paramount here, with a new bunker 320 yards down the right tightening up the target area for drives. Another to the left of the green has been edged closer as we turn away from the sea back towards the hotel.

Ca' Canny, 206 yds, par 3: A classic par three with a drop off to the right, two bunkers left and one long. In short, the green is surrounded and there's potential for calamity everywhere you look. One of the most thrilling and scary short holes you will see on any course. A real challenge - and card wrecker.

Duel in the Sun, 461 yds, par 4: Named after the 1977 Open when Tom Watson edged Jack Nicklaus by one, there are few settings more suitable for such a historic moment. It's now 29 yards longer, with three bunkers added to focus minds away from the lovely sight of the hotel towering above the hill.


Open tops: Lawrie with Claret Jug Van breakdown: de Velde in burn Write stuff: Paul signs autographs for young fans during his charity pro-am at Loch Lomond
COPYRIGHT 2009 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 12, 2009
Next Article:DUEL IN THE MOONLIGHT; The sequel to Duel In Sun witnessed by audience of 1.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters