HAVING celebrated his 36th birthday with just a sole European Tour victory to his credit — the 2008 Spanish Open — it is unlikely Peter Lawrie will ever qualify for superstar status on the European Tour.
But he is happy with his golfing lot this week as he heads into the €3m Andalucia Masters, lying 105th in the world rankings after finishing third in the Castellon Masters in Valencia.
After Valderrama, he has a week off before contesting lucrative tournaments in Singapore and Hong Kong. Then he heads for the season ending bonanza that is the Dubai World Championship (November 25-28).
Other golfers in his situation would be disappointed at the absence of headlines highlighting his tie for first place in the Czech Open (beaten by Peter Hanson in a play-off) followed by top 10 finishes in the KLM Dutch Open, the Portuguese Open and Castellon.
Outstanding performances have boosted him to 32nd in the Race to Dubai European Tour order of merit with earnings of €697,105. His career total before 2010 was €3,295,557 so he has done nicely since claiming his Tour card through a fourth place finish on the Challenge Tour in 2002.
However, Lawrie is a quiet, affable individual who prefers to let his clubs do the talking.
“I’ve been flying under the radar which is good and not something I mind. I haven’t been doing anything drastically right or anything drastically wrong. The main thing is I’ve been holing putts. I got the year off to a good start and had three top 10 finishes in the first 10 tournaments. I know they were small tournaments but I was playing nicely.
“I played poorly, when I normally play poorly, around the time of the Irish Open. I haven’t been able to get my head around managing the middle of the season. I always seem to play poorly then. But the game clicked back into gear, I played lovely in Portugal and played reasonably well last week (in Valencia).
“My goal has been to get up the world rankings. 105th is getting me within touching distance of a few major championships. And if I keep playing as I am, that will look after itself.”
He’s now setting his sights on the Andalucia Masters beginning at Valderrama tomorrow, the Barclays in Singapore, the Hong Kong Open, and then Dubai.
“I had it going in Dubai last year and was five under after 27 before letting it slip,” he recalled. “It’s a bomber’s golf course but it’s as I like it. I made one mistake that had me kicking myself for the rest of the week. I’ve played Valderrama a couple of times in the Volvo Masters, it should suit me because you have to hit it from A to B. It’s not all that long and is more about placement of your ball.”
Lawrie has spent eight years on tour admitting it has been ‘a slow progression.’
“It took a while to get on the Irish team, then I won the Irish Close and after turning pro, it was very slow. But I have progressed from year to year. I’d give myself 6 or 7 out of ten. The school report would read that ‘Peter could do better’.”
Meanwhile Martin Kaymer, who will displace Tiger Woods as the world’s number one golfer should he win or come 2nd in this week’s Andalucia Masters at Valderrama, will partner Graeme McDowell in the opening two rounds.
Kaymer is almost a million points ahead of McDowell on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai order of merit.
Selected first day pairings: 10.10am: A. Quiros (Sp), M. Kaymer (Ger), G. McDowell (Ire); 10.20am: T. Bjorn (Den), JM Olazabal (Sp), A. Canizares (Sp); 10.35am: Peter Lawrie (Ire), I. Garrido (Sp), P. Martin (Sp); 12.50pm: MA. Jimenez (Sp), G. Castano (Sp), E. Molinari (It); 1pm: S. Hansen (Den), S. Garcia (Sp), R. Green (Aus).
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