Paul Lawrie ushered in the next chapter of his career after turning 50 on New Year’s Day and is turning his attention towards an exciting future as a senior golfer.
The Scotsman, who famously won The Open on home soil at Carnoustie in 1999, is planning on playing on both the European Tour and Staysure Tour in 2019, with a trip to Royal Lytham & St Annes for The Senior Open Presented by Rolex high on his list of priorities.
The Senior Open Presented by Rolex returns to Royal Lytham & St Annes for the first time in 25 years and will host the 33rd edition of the prestigious Championship from July 25-28, 2019.
After seeing Paul Broadhurst, Bernhard Langer and Miguel Ángel Jiménez lift The Senior Open Trophy over the past three years, Lawrie is excited to do battle with his contemporaries once again.
Time split between tours
“I’ve been looking forward to turning 50 for quite some time,” said Lawrie. “I’ve seen the success that the guys have had in senior golf and I’m looking forward to having the chance to emulate their achievements.
“I’m planning on splitting my time between the European Tour, Staysure Tour and PGA Tour Champions this year and it’s encouraging to see someone like Miguel prove that you can successfully balance your playing commitments across the three Tours.
“His win at St Andrews last year was superb and I’m really excited to tee it up alongside him and all the other guys I grew up playing with once again.”
Lawrie will certainly be leaning on the experience of his Open victory almost 20 years ago, when he completed the biggest final round comeback in Major Championship history, overturning a ten-stroke deficit to win the Claret Jug in a play-off against Justin Leonard and Jean van de Velde.
The last time he teed it up at Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lawrie finished tied 34th at The Open in 2012, when he equalled his lowest-ever score in golf’s original Championship with a five under par 65 in his opening round.
He was one stroke behind Australia’s Adam Scott after the first round and is hoping to make amends on the Lancashire links this July after eventually signing for a four over par total.
Lytham one of World's best links
“I was really disappointed with how I played after that fantastic first round,” said Lawrie. “It was one of the most bizarre starts I’ve ever had at a golf tournament because after six holes I’d only had three putts – I’d chipped in twice and holed one from off the green.
“I think Lytham is one of the world’s best links challenges and always enjoy playing there, so I’m really looking forward to returning in July.”
Lawrie will be one of a host of Major Champions, Ryder Cup stars and European Tour winners set to tee it up at Royal Lytham during one of the most celebrated weeks of the 2019 golfing calendar.
He will join defending champion Jiménez, three-time Senior Open winner Langer and former Open Champion Tom Lehman, who won the Claret Jug at Royal Lytham in 1996.
Early Bird tickets for The Senior Open are available from £10 and can be purchased here: st.golf/SO19Tickets.
Under-16s and parking are free.