to go back to,” said the 35-year-old Welsh-
man. “Some guys who have experienced the
main tour and its comforts can’t hack it, but my
philosophy is that you get what you deserve. At
the end of the day, you’re still playing golf and
you’re in an environment where you can find
There are no courtesy cars on the Challenge
Tour and South African George Coetzee would
have been wishing the same applied on the main
tour first thing Thursday morning. That was when
the driver who had brought him to the Jumeirah
Golf Estates slammed the passenger door on
Coetzee’s left hand and caught his little finger. His
opening round was in every sense a painful 74.
What has been the difference between the
18-year-old Matteo Manassero’s second year on
tour and his first?
“I have been more comfortable and I’ve made
more friends,” said the Italian, who won last year’s
Castello Masters and this year’s Malaysian Open.
To him, the best thing about tour life is the
satisfaction which goes with being able to play
the game he loves for a living.
And the worst?
Days when he wants to relax and would
sooner be able to do so Italian-style. Namely, by
lounging around at home with his friends.
“When I won, it was nice to give them a bit of
ribbing back,” said Lawrie.
According to Paul, his would-be tourna-
ment players are way better than he was at the
same stage: “I was five-handicap when I turned
professional at 17. They are both miles ahead
of where I was at that age. But it’s going to be
pretty hard for them out there but, if they make
it, they will deserve to make it.”
Both Craig and Michael have beaten their
father playing level.
“The first time Craig beat me,” recalled Law-
rie, “was on the nine-hole course at Deeside
last year. I wasn’t really paying attention and it
was only when we got to the ninth that I realised
what was happening. He had a five-footer to
beat me and I actually tried to put him off. I said,
‘You know you’ve got this to win.’
“Craig said, ‘Yeah,’ and holed it just the
same. “So you shake his hand and you say, ‘Well
done, son,’ but you’re thinking something else
under your breath.”
Paul Lawrie happily admitted that nothing
keeps him striving more than the desire to impress his two golfing sons, Craig, 16, and
Michael, 12. (Craig got down to scratch this
year, while Michael is already playing to five.)
Though both sons were too young to appreciate their father’s Open championship victory in
1999, they were not too young when it came to
ribbing him about how he had failed to win in
nine years prior to this year’s Open de Andalucia.
Peter Hanson made the interesting observation that last year’s Ryder Cup had identified the
weaknesses in his game. He had played each of
his practice rounds with Westwood, whose golf
at the time was at its considerable best.
“It was interesting to see how good you can do
certain things,” said Hanson. “The way Lee drove
the ball, how straight and long he was. Also, his
putting. It was very, very good. It was a real check
on where I was.” l
©2011 Leupold & Stevens, Inc.