Lawrie awed by Spi­eth but fore­sees an up­turn in his own game too

The Herald - Sport - - GOLF - BERNIE MCGUIRE

PAUL LAWRIE re­turned to com­pe­ti­tion this week in Mu­nich in awe of the ef­forts of dou­ble Ma­jor­win­ning Jor­dan Spi­eth when com­pared to his sim­i­lar-aged old­est son, Craig.

Lawrie looked very sharp af­ter a three-week break in post­ing a bo­geyfree four-un­der-par 68 on the open­ing day of the BMW In­ter­na­tional Open and played in ideal con­di­tions on the Munch­ner Golf Club on the out­skirts of the Bavar­ian cap­i­tal.

It left Lawrie only three shots be­hind the lead­ing trio of Aus­tralia’s Daniel Gaunt, Dane Lasse Jen­son and Spain’s Rafa Cabr­era-Bello.

Swe­den’s Hen­rik Sten­son is in a group at five un­der par, de­spite a triple­bo­gey 7 at his sev­enth hole.

Lawrie birdied his sec­ond hole and af­ter par­ing the next seven holes he also birdied his 10th, 14th and the last.

“This Mu­nich course is play­ing a lit­tle tougher than in all the years I have been com­ing here and they needed to do that to get it a lit­tle longer,” said Lawrie, adding that he had been putting time aside to work on his game.

While the golf­ing world is mes­merised with the ef­forts of Spi­eth in cap­tur­ing back-to-back Ma­jors this sea­son, it prompted Lawrie to com­pare the ef­forts of the World No.2 to his own eldest son.

“It’s just in­cred­i­ble what Spi­eth is achiev­ing this year given win­ning the first two Ma­jors of the year and he is just 21 years of age,” said Lawrie.

“I am think­ing about my old­est son Craig and we’re so happy he’s got a card and do­ing well on the PGA Europro Tour but then this boy Spi­eth is win­ning Ma­jors.

“Jor­dan does seem to be a bit spe­cial and The Open prom­ises to be a great week.

“Know­ing Rory, he’ll be geared up to take him down and re-es­tab­lish him­self as the best player in the world.”

While Lawrie looks to end a three­year win­less drought, he is also fo­cus­ing on three events in Scot­land start­ing over the next fort­night with the Aberdeen As­set Man­age­ment Scot­tish Open, the fol­low­ing week’s 144th Open and the July 30th start­ing Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match-Play at Murcar Links.

“I nor­mally start play­ing de­cent about this time of year and I am hop­ing I can keep this go­ing.

“I have a foun­da­tion day at Sk­ibo Castle next week where it’s gor­geous be­fore three big events back home.

“I will go down to Gul­lane early to prac­tice on the course for a cou­ple of days and then it will be hard not to be ex­cited to be then go­ing to St. An­drews.

“Again, I have never re­ally had a great Open there [T56th 1995, missed cut 2000, T52nd 2005 & missed cut 2010] so I feel I am due one.”

Stir­ling’s Craig Lee capped his round with back-to-back ‘2s’ in his round of one-un­der-par 71.

Lee landed an 8-iron to 20 feet at his par-three third hole and then holed a 70-yard wedge shot that spun back into the hole at the next, the par-five 13th he was play­ing as his fourth hole.

“I don’t think I’ve ever done that be­fore but while there was that bit of bril­liance there was also a lot of silly shots in­clud­ing that three-putt from 12 feet at the last for bo­gey,” he said.

Chris Doak and David Drys­dale also posted 71s, Scott Henry a 72 and Scott Jamieson a 73.

IN THE PINK: Lawrie sits three shots off the lead in Mu­nich af­ter an open­inground 68

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