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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.”


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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