Paul Lawrie won the Scottish Senior Open to claim his first Staysure Tour title in front of a home crowd at Craigielaw Golf Club.
The 1999 Open champion battled gusty conditions throughout the final round to record a level par round of 71 to win his maiden over-50s title by two shots from Peter Baker and Peter Fowler.
The Scotsman, who celebrated the 20th anniversary of his major success at Carnoustie last month, made the turn in 33 and battled hard in the blustery conditions on the back nine to card a round of 71 and continue a proud record of winning on home soil.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing in Scotland and that is my fourth win in my home country and I’m very proud of that,” said Lawrie, who became eligible for senior golf when he turn 50 on New Year’s Day.
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“I think a lot of the players struggle to play in their own country with expectations on them, but I’ve always felt comfortable playing in front of Scottish people.
“It doesn’t matter what tour it is, winning is difficult; it’s not easy. Peter Baker did a top effort to get in the house at level par, so my job was to get in at one under par, that was the only job I was thinking about and I managed to finish one better than that.
“I’ve not won since 2012 on the European Tour. Obviously, I’m a senior now and I’m playing senior events. I want to be one of the top players on the Staysure Tour and I want to be one of the top seniors, so this win is a massive step to doing that.”
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Lawrie admitted it particularly pleasing to get back in the winner’s circle having battled a debilitating foot injury over the last 18 months.
“My game has been getting betting for a few weeks and I’ve been telling people that I’m getting there and I’m going to win soon,” he added. “The Senior Open was the first week where I felt my foot and my back were where I needed them to be. My surgeon, Gordon Mackay, said it would take a year for my foot to be right. I thought my career was over with my foot the way that it was, but Gordon did a great job.”
Baker, winner of Senior Open Hauts de France by Jean van de Velde in June, recorded a one-under round of 70 to finish two strokes behind Lawrie in a share of second place with Fowler. The overnight leader was unable to follow his impressive five-under round of 66 from day two as he signed for a disappointing four-over 75.
Englishman David Shacklady and Markus Brier of Austria completed the top five as they signed for rounds of 69 and 73, respectively, to finish at one over.