Lawrie targets Race to Dubai top five

27/08/2012 18:49:59
Paul Lawrie  with the winners trophy from George O'Grady  (Getty Images)
Paul Lawrie with the winners trophy from George O'Grady (Getty Images)

Paul Lawrie has targeted a career-best top five finish in The Race to Dubai after his superb victory at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles last week.

The Ryder Cup player cruised to victory to become the first Scot to win three times on home soil after famously winning The Open Championship at Carnoustie in 1999 before triumphing at the 2001 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.

His eighth European Tour victory earned the Aberdeen man €296,119 and moved him from 12th to seventh spot in The Race to Dubai, on €1,637,132, ahead of Nicolas Colsaerts, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.

With 12 tournaments left to go before the end of season finale at the $8 million DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, Lawrie is now chasing the best finish of his career in The Race to Dubai and, having moved into the all-important top ten - who at the end of the season share a bonus pool of US$3.75 million - he believes he is in the right kind of form to achieve that.

He said: “My goal at the start of the season was to finish top five because the best I’ve ever done is sixth so that’s the main goal now and we have a few events now to hopefully try and achieve that.”

The 43 year old says that his second place finish at last year’s formerly-named Dubai World Championship was one of the main catalysts for his impressive form this year, so it’s no wonder he’s looking forward to returning to Jumeirah Golf Estates and challenging for the title over the Earth course from 22-25 November.

“It’s been an unbelievable run since my second place finish in Dubai last year,” said Lawrie. “I had a bit of a sticky spell last year. I didn’t play great and didn’t putt well and then to get that second in Dubai, and to nearly win amongst a field of that quality, was a huge boost to my confidence.

“I just kept going from then, week after week. My memories were that the course was really good. I putted very nicely, especially on the Sunday. I played really solid that week, my ball-striking was good and I was putting well. The greens were fantastic - if you hit it on line it goes in, so I enjoyed it.

“I'm looking forward to going back. Obviously it’s one of the last events of a long year. It’s a lovely tournament and I can’t wait to get there.”

Lawrie’s move to seventh place in The Race to Dubai was the major move at the top of the standings, currently led by World Number One Rory McIlroy who, like Lawrie, will be one of the key men in Jose Maria Olazabal’s European Ryder Cup team at Medinah Country Club next month.

Meanwhile, the players looking to cement their positions in the top 60 and guarantee a place at the DP World Tour Championship have made their way to Switzerland and the latest chapter in The Race to Dubai, the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre, Crans Montana.

With just three months to go until the $8 million season-ending climax tournament, the competition is getting tight with many of the biggest names in the game still fighting to ensure their place at the Earth course in November. Tickets for the DP World Tour Championship are available free of charge by registering at www.dpwtc.com