• The 47-year-old defeated Danish starlet Lucas Bjerregaard 4&2
• Richie Ramsay, Marc Warren and Craig Lee also progress
PAUL LAWRIE MATCH PLAY
Tournament host Paul Lawrie coasted into the second round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Paul Lawrie Match Play after a 4&2 victory over young Danish star Lucas Bjerregaard.
Despite stressing before the tournament that he wasn’t 100% fit, Lawrie roared out of the blocks going 1UP on the first hole and by the turn, he was 3UP after hole wins at the sixth and eighth.
"My body is the best it's felt for a few weeks" - Paul Lawrie
The lead was extended to 4UP and, after a double-bogey blip on the 14th, the 1999 Open champion birdied the 16th to ensure his safe passage into the second round.
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“I played lovely today,” said Paul Lawrie afterwards. “Kind of been struggling a wee bit with a sore neck the last sort of ten days but today I felt fully fit, to be fair, and when I feel like that, I feel as though I can make birdies and I can get some speed with the club.
“I've been struggling to hit the ball hard because of my injuries and other bits and pieces. But today was the opposite, I felt really good. My body is the best it's felt for a few weeks.”
Elsewhere, in arguably the tie of the morning, Richie Ramsay defeated a resurgent David Howell after the Englishman recovered from 3DN with five to play to almost force extra holes. However, Ramsay drained a 20ft putt to halve the hole and progress to the second round.
Marc Warren, meanwhile, saw off Jorge Campillo 3&2, which was the same scoreline that Craig Lee defeated Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin by.
However, that was where the joy was to end for the Scots. David Drysdale lost 4&3 to Michael Hoey, Scott Jamieson went down 5&4 to Scottish Open champion Alex Noren and Stephen Gallacher – in his first event back from injury – was trounced 7&6 by Renato Paratore.
In the tie of the day, Ryder Cup hopeful Matt Fitzpatrick battered vice-captain at Hazeltine Thomas Bjorn 4&3 after a blistering start that had him 5UP after just eight holes.
Upon conclusion of the day’s play, the European Tour announced that, due to severe winds forecast for Sunday, rounds will be brought forward as of tomorrow. This means the rounds of 32 and 16 will be tomorrow, the quarter-finals and semi-finals will be on Saturday and the final and third place play-off on Sunday.
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