Paul Lawrie is hoping that legendary swing coach Bob Torrance can work his magic and help the 1999 Open Champion get back to winning ways, starting at this week’s Scottish Hydro Challenge at the magnificent Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club in Aviemore.
Lawrie turned to Torrance after a poor performance in the second and third rounds of The Open Championship at Turnberry a fortnight ago and was so impressed by Torrance’s instant diagnosis of the troublesome elements of his game that he has since set up a weekly coaching session at Torrance’s Largs base.
“I am going down to see Bob every week if I can,” revealed Lawrie after carding a Pro-Am Team score of 18 under par at the Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club in the company of his two sons Craig and Michael and his nephew Sean.
“I went down there on Monday to see him. I leave the house at 4:30 in the morning, get to Largs for 7:30 and we work till 12:30 so it is a long day and a long drive but I think it is worth it and, although I wish he lived a bit closer when I am getting up at 4:00 in the morning every week, I actually think having to travel a good distance to see him shows that I am committed to it and that I believe he can turn things around for me and get me back to winning tournaments again.
“My game and form have been pretty good recently but I want to get back to winning and hopefully Bob can help me do that. I have always wanted him to have a look at me but it has never worked out in terms of timings etc so it was good to finally work with him at The Open.
“As soon as he had a look at my swing I liked what I heard. Bob is old school, a great character and a hugely respected man throughout the game – you don’t coach a guy to three Major Championships [Padraig Harrington] without knowing what you are doing.”
Lawrie’s participation in the Scottish Hydro Challenge has significantly raised the profile of the €200,000 tournament before a ball has been struck, but the Aberdonian is hoping that a strong performance and a victory can bring even more attention to the tournament and increase awareness of the Challenge Tour in his homeland.
He may be here with his family enjoying the magnificent surroundings of the Cairngorm mountains and the Scottish highlands, but once he is on the course on Thursday he will be thinking only of one thing: winning the tournament.
“I think that you are wasting your time if you turn up to an event trying to make the cut,” said Lawrie, whose last victory on Tour came in the 2002 Celtic Manor Wales Open. “I am here to win the tournament and as long as I have that desire I will play tournament golf.
“It doesn’t matter what level the tournament is at these days, be it European Tour, Challenge Tour or Tartan Tour: the standards are so high that you have to have the desire to win every time you tee it. If you can do that and you have the ability you will be competitive.
“The level on the Challenge Tour these days is very, very high and this is one of the biggest events on the Challenge Tour Schedule so you have a very strong field here this week. It should be a great event with a lot of talented players.”