Lawrie coasts to Johnnie Walker victory

8/26/2012 4:57:24 PM
Paul Lawrie  (Getty Images)
Paul Lawrie (Getty Images)
Paul Lawrie gave Europe's Ryder Cup Team yet another boost by winning on home soil for the third time in his career - and making it look easy in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

The United States were looking favourites for the match until Rory McIlroy had his runaway eight shot win at the US PGA Championship a fortnight ago.

Sergio Garcia then won in the States for the first time in four years last Monday and now Lawrie has marched impressively to a four stroke success.

One ahead overnight, the 43 year old shot a closing 68 to beat Australian Brett Rumford by four with a 16 under par total of 272.

It could take him to his highest ever position on the Official World Golf Ranking when it is updated on Monday - and it certainly sends his confidence sky-high as he heads towards his first appearance in The Ryder Cup since 1999.

That was the year he won The Open Championship at Carnoustie and two years later he was the Alfred Dunhill Links champion at St Andrews.

"I feel calmer in Scotland for some reason - it's weird - and I play some of my best golf too," Lawrie said.

He admitted the pressure of trying to secure his return to the European Team had affected him in recent months, but he came into the tournament knowing his place was safe.

"I felt better - cooler - and things didn't bother me."

His lead went from one to two when playing partner Romain Wattel bogeyed the first and he never allowed anyone to get closer than that all day.

“It was probably one of the best ball striking weeks in my career,” added Lawrie, who only missed two greens all day. “There's no question I'm hitting the ball extremely well this week. 

“The course is obviously very good and the course played quite long, and I've hit the ball a bit longer this week. I've been working on rhythm and when you hit it a bit longer, it helps a bit. It's been a fantastic week.”

Rumford started the week 109th on The Race to Dubai but a cheque for €197,408 ends any worries about retaining his playing card for next season.

Sweden’s Fredrik Andersson Hed and Dutchman Maarten Lafeber also enhanced their chances of returning to The European Tour next year by sharing third with Wattel – the 21 year old Frenchman recording the best result of his fledgling career by birdieing the last from eight feet.

“Hopefully I build some confidence from this one and keep playing good for the rest of the year,” said Andersson Hed, who started the week 115th on The Race to Dubai.