Paul Lawrie 'happy and proud' as he signs off on European Tour
Sore back leaves Aberdonian ‘struggling’ in his final round on circuit
Paul Lawrie righty focused on the highlights of his career rather than a "struggle" to finish as he brought down the curtain on his European Tour career on home soil.
The former Open champion and winner of eight regular events was clapped on the 18th green at The Renaissance Club by a small group of officials and media members at the end of his 620th and final appearance on the circuit.
Nicolas Colsaerts, who was on the same winning Ryder Cup team at Medinah in 2012, had also hung around after finishing his second round earlier in the day to applaud the Aberdonian.
Lawrie missed the cut after adding a 79 to his opening 73, but it was an event when his score didn't matter and even the fiercely-competitive 51-year-old agreed about that.
"I’m just happy and proud to have played such a long time," said an emotional Lawrie. "When I turned pro, I didn’t think I’d play 620 events.
"I've obviously been fortunate enough to have been a decent player, to have won a few, and every win is special because I never thought I'd win any to be honest. Never thought I would play in any, never mind win any.
“Obviously The Open (his win at Carnoustie in 1999) was out of this world and to have your name on that is unbelievable. Had a blast. Been a great time.
"But today shows exactly why I'm doing what I'm doing. I can't play at this level when my back's terrible. It was a real struggle out there. My back was really sore.
“My back was sore when I woke up. You have days when it doesn’t matter how many painkillers you take, your back is just sore. I was just trying to get the club on the ball. It was a real struggle and I played really poorly.”As well as continuing to play on the newly-branded Legends Tour, Lawrie has a Junior Ryder Cup captaincy to look forward to next year.
"I'm awfully excited about that," he said. "I've always been into junior golf. I've always wanted to try and develop players and bring them through."
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