Paul Lawrie is targeting a continuation of his recent good form when he tees it up at the Farmfoods European Senior Masters hosted by Peter Baker at Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club from October 4-6.
The Scot underwent foot surgery ahead of his rookie Staysure Tour season and after admitting he was not fully fit during the first half of the year, he has since showcased the kind of form which saw him win eight times on the European Tour, including The 1999 Open Championship.
In addition to top ten finishes at both the British Par 3 Championship and the Scottish Par 3 Championship, the two-time Ryder Cup player won his maiden over-50s title on home soil at the Scottish Senior Open in August, following it up with a tie for seventh at The Sinclair Invitational and a runner-up spot at last week’s Murhof Legends – Austrian Senior Open.
“I got to my mid-49s and I was struggling with my foot and little bit with my back,” Lawrie said. “I had to get my foot sorted out first and I obviously wasn’t fit for the first six months after turning 50.
“I was playing but I certainly wasn’t 100 per cent fit. It was always going to take a bit of a while to get up to speed but once I did, I’ve been playing some nice golf.
“I was seventh at Hanbury Manor, second last week in Austria, second in the British Par 3 and eighth in the Scottish Par 3, so every week I’ve played, I’ve played some nice stuff and some good golf.”
Lawrie, who turned 50 on New Year’s Day, has settled into life on the Staysure Tour with ease, helped by the friendly faces which he encounters on a weekly basis.
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“It’s nice to see some faces I’ve not seen for a long time,” he said. “Paul Broadhurst, Ian Woosnam, Peter Baker, I’ve not seen these guys – regularly – for ten or 15 years because other than Peter Baker, they’re a little older than me.
“It’s been nice to see come back and see some of the boys like Ross Drummond and Gary Orr, guys who I’ve not seen for a little while. I’m really enjoying it.
“The quality is very good on the Staysure Tour. Wherever you go nowadays, you’ve got to play well to win.
“The winning score was 19 under last week in Austria – the course offered a lot of chances but you’ve still got to take them. Getting to 19 under after three rounds, that’s pretty impressive. The standard is very good.”
Joining Lawrie in the final European event of the season is last week’s champion José Coceres and the Argentine’s fellow two-time winner David Shacklady.
Order of Merit leader Phillip Price will go in search of his 11th top ten finish of the season and look to cement his place at the forefront of the race for the John Jacobs Trophy, while 2018 KitchenAid Senior PGA Champion Paul Broadhurst tees it up outside of the Senior Majors for the first time this year.
The action gets under way at 9.30am local time on Friday October 4, with Lawrie’s round beginning alongside David Gilford at 11.00am from the tenth tee.