Paul Lawrie, the 1999 Open Champion, has been forced to withdraw from all competitive golf for the rest of the year due to ongoing back and foot injuries.
The 49 year old has not competed on the European Tour since April, where he missed the cut in the Trophee Hassan II, and has chosen to end his season as he bids to make an immediate impact on the over-50s circuit when he becomes eligible to play next January.
Lawrie, who won the Claret Jug at Carnoustie in 1999 after a play-off with Jean van de Velde and Justin Leonard, now misses a return to the Angus links for the Open Championship next month.
But the eight-time European Tour winner has vowed to ‘come back fitter and stronger’ after his planned time away from the game.
“Unfortunately both the back and foot injuries I have been carrying for the last six months and more have become debilitating, to the point where I am not currently able to compete at the highest level,” he said. “Rest and further investigation will be required.
“It is particularly disappointing that I’m going to miss both the upcoming Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and the Open Championship, as a result.
“My hope is that the break will allow me to get the required treatment and to come back next season (when I’ll be eligible for the Seniors circuit) as strong as ever.
“As well as working on my rehabilitation, the time away from the course will allow me to spend additional time working with the juniors in my Foundation programme which is dear to my heart.
“I would like to thank all of my sponsors for their continued support andunderstanding at this time, and I hope to come back fitter and stronger in 2019.”