Paul Lawrie believes the start of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open marks the start of “the biggest two weeks of the year”
The Scotsman goes into his national Open in great form, before travelling south to Lytham to compete in The Open Championship – a tournament he famously won in 1999.
Ten top-25 finishes in 14 events, including victory at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy, have propelled Lawrie to eighth in The Race to Dubai and third in The Ryder Cup points list, and the 43 year old is determined to build on that form.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “Obviously it's always the biggest two weeks of the year for a Scottish player if you're in The Open – more so for me with Aberdeen Asset coming on board this week, which is great news for everyone.
“It was nice to finish off well in Ireland, I think that was quite important. I played poorly on the Saturday and my attitude was pretty off. And then Sunday it was important to come out and get a good finish.
“I had a couple games last week and played nicely when I played. So I think I'm looking all right, to be fair, but we'll find out tomorrow.
“I always look forward to The Open, obviously. I like links golf but my record in The Open is not the best since I won.
“It's my favorite week of the year, the biggest event in the world, so it’s disappointing my record is not the best. I'd like to put that right.”
While Lawrie appears well on course to claim a place on José María Olazábal’s European Team in Medinah, he is not taking anything for granted.
Two good showings could all but guarantee Lawrie’s seat on the plane to Chicago, but he added: “I don't look at it that it will cement my place at all. I'm looking at it that I'm going to play as well as I can this week and try and make as much as I can this week and then move on to The Open. And then after the Open we'll move on to the next event.
“I've said before, we're in a pretty good position for The Ryder Cup, but there's still a wee bit to go. I think Peter Hanson showed at the PGA at Wentworth he was in second place in the Ryder Cup money and went to fifth by missing the cut.
“I think there's still enough big events left that if you don't play very well with the events that are coming up, you can still get caught. So my mind is mainly focused on this week, try to do as well as I can this week and move on.
“It's impossible not to think of Ryder Cup, obviously, because it's a huge event, but mentally I'm just trying to do as well as I can this week and tick them off at the end of the week.”
Lawrie has been drawn with compatriot Martin Laird – another player trying to become the first home winner of the event since Colin Montgomerie in 1999 – and American star Phil Mickelson for the first two rounds.
And Lawrie is looking forward to playing with the four-time Major Champion.
“I played with Phil the first two days last year,” he continued. “Padraig (Harrington), Phil Mickelson and me was the pairing last year, and we had a good time. We had a good laugh, so I'm looking forward to playing with him.”