Paul Lawrie calls time on his European Tour career

Paul Lawrie

Paul Lawrie has announced that this week's Scottish Open at The Renaissance will be his final event on the European Tour.

The 1999 Open champion has confirmed that he will bow out after making 620 starts on the circuit to focus on his off-course commitments.

"I don't feel I can compete week in and week out at this level anymore," said the 51-year-old. "But the second reason and probably more importantly, I'm really busy off the course and I'm enjoying doing that stuff more than I am actually playing at this level.

"I'll play seniors' golf. I'm not going to stop playing completely. But this will be my last European Tour event. Six-hundred and twenty. Not a bad innings when I didn't think I'd play any when I turned pro. So, I'm very proud."

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Lawrie has been bedeviled by various ailments in recent years, which he admitted has contributed to his decision to step away.

"My back is obviously not very good," he added. "I've got a herniated disc in my back and really struggle to practice. I struggle to play more than a couple days in a row, so week in and week out travelling, I just can't do it. More to the point, I don't really enjoy it anymore, the travelling part of it. No way of getting past that. I'm happy as I can be. Had a great time, enjoyed it, but it's time to go."

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With characteristic humility, Aberdonian Lawrie added: "I've not been a great player but I've been decent, and that's all you can ask for."

His CV suggests he has been far better than he's giving himself credit for. As well as his career-defining Open win at Carnoustie in 1999, he won a further seven times on the European Tour - including the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews in 2001 and the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2012.

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He also featured on two Ryder Cup teams and played a pivotal role in the 'Miracle at Medinah' in 2012.

All of which is to say nothing of the huge contribution he has made to the game at grassroots level through his eponymous foundation and various other activities, including, most recently, the launch of the Tartan Pro Tour.

"I played with some players I thought I'd never play with, met a lot of lovely people, met some not so nice people. That's just life, isn't it. You try and not speak to the ones that you don't like and you give the ones you do like a bit of your time. That's just how it is, isn't it. I've been very lucky, absolutely loved it. The wins in Scotland were huge, which was nice."

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