Paul Lawrie’s victory at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy – the seventh of an illustrious European Tour career – has earned the Scot The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month award for February.
Lawrie moved back into the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking after cruising to a four shot win over Australian Jason Day and Sweden’s Peter Hanson courtesy of a superb closing round of 65 at Doha Golf Club.
It was the second time that Lawrie had lifted the coveted Mother of Pearl trophy, following his triumph at the Qatar Masters in 1999 – the same year he became a Major winner at The Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Lawrie’s victory earned him a place in last week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, where he capped a fine month by defeating Justin Rose and Ryo Ishikawa to reach the last 16, before falling to his compatriot Martin Laird.
The 43 year old edged out Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello, winner of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, for the monthly award, which is voted for by a panel comprising members of the golfing media.
Derek Lawrenson, Golf Correspondent of The Daily Mail newspaper, said: “As ever, it was hard to separate the leading candidates for February. I was torn completely between Rafael Cabrera-Bello’s stirring win against a strong leaderboard in Dubai, and Paul Lawrie’s equally compelling success in Qatar.
“What was better, the Spaniard holding his nerve under pressure from Lee Westwood, or Lawrie’s brilliant final round to finish clear of a quality field? By the narrowest of margins I, and the panel, went with Lawrie, and furthermore he followed up his victory with a good showing at the Accenture.”
The panel also commended the performances of South African Jbe’ Kruger, winner of the Avantha Masters; his compatriot Keith Horne, who captured the Telkom PGA Championship on the Sunshine Tour; and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who just missed out on becoming the new World Number One after finishing tied fifth in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and runner up in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Lawrie is the second monthly winner of 2012, following January’s Golfer of the Month Branden Grace, of South Africa. Both players will join the subsequent monthly award winners, who will be considered for The 2012 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year, which was won last year by Englishman Luke Donald.