Sport Golf

Friday 19 January 2018

Lawrie finds things really do go better with Coke

With his system out of kilter, Peter Lawrie lost form and confidence, a situation compounded by swing changes he was making. Photo: AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANAMANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images
With his system out of kilter, Peter Lawrie lost form and confidence, a situation compounded by swing changes he was making. Photo: AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANAMANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images

Karl MacGinty

Startling to hear a Tour golfer admit on the radio the other night that "I was addicted to Coke and I've recovered from it."

No, it wasn't Dustin Johnson, who insists the "personal issues" which required him to take a six-month break from the game did not relate in any way to prohibited substances.

It was Peter Lawrie - but before leading listeners to his fascinating interview on Newstalk's 'Off The Ball' any further up the garden path, the laconic Dubliner pointed out: "It was Coca-Cola!"

Lawrie attributed 18 months of stumbling around in a golfing wilderness, culminating in the loss of his European Tour card by one stroke at Q-School last December, with a decision to stop drinking Coke around June 2013, the time of his most recent top 10, at the Irish Open in Carton.

"I really was addicted to it. I was drinking litres of the stuff. Then I cut it out completely and went from such a high on sugar to a dramatic low," said Lawrie (40), who also started working out in the gym for the first time.

With his system out of kilter, Lawrie lost form and confidence, a situation compounded by swing changes he was making. A rock-steady performer suddenly became prone to wildly unpredictable errors.

Towards the end of last year, Lawrie felt his game coming round. Though he lost his card, the popular Irishman makes his sixth sponsor's invite of the season in this week's Hero Indian Open in New Delhi.

Rory McIlroy and Paul McGinley are among those who have written to tournament promoters on Lawrie's behalf.

"When you go through something like this, you really discover who your friends are," he said.

And, yes, he's back on the Coca-Cola, if in moderation. "I'm not criticising Coke. No way. I still like it," insisted Lawrie, who has earned ¤51,382 in his last three events and has high hopes of winning the ¤200,000-plus he needs to regain his card.

Irish Independent

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