Lawrie looks to win Scottish Open, vows to stay out of lake if he does

paul lawrie
Getty Images
1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie ended a nine-year victory drought earlier this season, and would love to capture his national Open for the first time this week.
PA Sport

Series: European Tour

Published: Wednesday, July 06, 2011 | 1:56 p.m.

Paul Lawrie has said he ranks the Barclays Scottish Open, which starts on Thursday, second only to the British Open itself on his list of must-wins.

Lawrie has, of course, already tasted Open success back in 1999, when he profited from Jean Van de Velde's spectacular capitulation to claim the Claret Jug at Carnoustie.

The Scot will be looking to add his national title at Castle Stuart this week, but admits that he would probably not follow the lead taken by Van de Velde's countryman, Thomas Levet, were he to triumph.

Levet's joy at capturing the Alstom French Open prompted him to follow the recent tradition of going into the lake by the final green at Le Golf National -- he fractured a shin, and now will miss the British Open to recuperate.

"It would be fair to say I would never do that," said Lawrie. "But there you go -- he's that kind of guy, isn't he? He's a good lad, quite hyper, and him and his manager probably thought it was a good idea. I bet he is regretting it now.

"I think I've always said that if I was allowed one more win, it would be this tournament,” Lawrie added. "Yes I would like another Open -- who wouldn't? But if you were not going to get another Open, the Scottish Open would be next. It would be huge for me."

The Aberdeen golfer ended nine years without a victory in Spain earlier this season on the very same day another Scot, Martin Laird, won in the United States. They are together these next two weeks with Laird, up to 25th in the world this season, back in Europe for the Open.

Laird, who has been based in the States since his college days, lists the Ryder Cup as one of his big goals. However, he will be giving his fellow Europeans a four-month start when the qualification process for next year's edition gets under way in September.

Because of how well he did last year, Laird was asked to become a full member of the European Tour this season. But with his wedding looming in Colorado, the 28-year-old was not prepared to commit himself to the minimum 13 events and was also told that falling short could lead to a two-year ban.

"With the wedding, it was just not going to happen," Laird explained. "But I will be joining next year (as an affiliate member he will not be subject to the same rules).

“I want to come back and play a few more events and hopefully be in a situation where I can play myself onto the team,” he explained. "If it's a situation where I just miss out, at least I've made the point that I came back and want to make the team."