Monday 19 February 2018

Lawrie shows cool head to stay in mix

Bernie McGuire , at Gleneagles

A more positive attitude has kept Peter Lawrie well in contention through two rounds of the Johnnie Walker Championship.

Lawrie added a three-under-par 69 to his opening round of 68 to move to seven-under-par and right among the leaders heading into the weekend on the 2014 Ryder Cup centenary host course.

Spain's Ignacio Garrido, who Lawrie defeated three years ago to capture his only Race to Dubai title, also recorded a 69 to lead the field by one stroke at eight-under-par. Lawrie shares second place with four others including Denmark's Thomas Bjorn (69), the England pair of Mark Foster (71) and Kenneth Ferrie (69) along with Italian Lorenzo Gagli (68).

Lawrie's two-round effort is his best opening 36-hole total since a similar seven-under-par commencement to the recent Irish Open at Killarney, where he eventually finished in a share of eighth.

However, bringing more delight to the father of four was being able to add a second straight sub-70 round to his tally, just a week after starting the Czech Open with scores of 66 and 75.

"I was just trying to be more positive, and that meant trying to read the greens better, and being more positive and not second-guessing myself," he said.


"If the putts went in then well and good and if they didn't, then I wasn't worried. So it was more of a case of positivity rather than negativity."

Lawrie kick-started his round when he eagled the par-five second hole, and while he bogeyed the next, the current world No 141 birdied the ninth and 12th holes to move back to seven-under-par ahead of a bogey at 13, but a birdie at 14 followed.

"It's a very congested leaderboard, and it's a golf course that really I've never done well around so that's going to help over the weekend," he said.

"So I will just try and keep on playing decent and putt decent and maybe give it a chance on Sunday."

Damien McGrane made it five cuts in succession despite two bogeys and just one birdie in his score of 73 for a two-under-par tally.

However, McGrane's only birdie was a real gem when he holed a 50-footer at his 17th. "Two-under-par is a pretty good score and I'll take that, and when you look at the board it's not far off," he said. "But I just missed everything on the greens today, and managing just one birdie and that came from miles away."

Simon Thornton is also through to the weekend with scores of 70 and 74, while Belfast's Michael Hoey was also pleased after making it right on the cut level-par mark with rounds of 73 and 71. "I was three-over after four but managed to birdie four of my closing 12 holes, which was nice," he said.

Just missing out was Shane Lowry (72 and 73) and newly appointed GB&I Vivendi Seve Trophy captain Paul McGinley.

McGinley slumped to near the tail of the field with scores of 74 and 80.

Johnnie Walker Championship, Day 3,

Live, Sky Sports 3, 1.0

Irish Independent

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