LYLE AND LAWRIE EXCITED FOR HOME SOIL TEST.
Sandy Lyle is relishing the challenge at Craigielaw Golf Club when he makes his Scottish Senior Open debut this week.
The two-time Major Champion last made a Staysure Tour appearance outside of the Senior Majors in 2011 but will battle for the title on home soil alongside three other Major Champions; Michael Campbell, Paul Lawrie and Ian Woosnam.
Lyle, who became the first British winner of the Masters Tournament in 1988, has one Staysure Tour title to his name – the 2011 ISPS Handa Senior World Championship – but would love the chance to win once again.
“A win anywhere and any type of victory, even a nine-hole competition would be nice,” said Lyle. “I’d love to be able to lift a trophy above my shoulders again, that’d be very nice.
“I’m looking forward to playing this week. It’ll be a battle against the weather, which will make it a good challenge here at Craigielaw.
“At 61 golf doesn’t get any easier. I still hit the ball fairly solidly, but scoring doesn’t reflect the way I’m hitting it at the moment. This week looks like it will be a real fight to the end, but if I keep the ball flight down and get the putter working, then I could be in contention at the end of the week.”
Another player hoping to be in the mix on Sunday afternoon is fellow Scot and Major winner Paul Lawrie.
The 1999 Open champion grew up playing links courses and will be teeing it up at Craigielaw for the first time in his career this week.
Lawrie, who has won twice on Scottish links layouts at Carnoustie Golf Links in 1999 and the 2001 Dunhill Links Championship, comes into the event following two weeks off after missing the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship through injury. However, back on home soil and feeling ready to go, the Scotsman is determined to challenge this week.
“I’ve not played Craigielaw before, but I’ve played quite a bit of golf on the stretch around here,” Lawrie said. “Obviously the Match Play was at Archerfield and I’ve played Renaissance Club a few times, but this week will be the first time I’ll play Craigielaw and I’m looking forward to it.
“My foot was really poor on Tuesday after the Senior Open. I woke up that morning and it felt awful and I had probably done too much because I’d played four weeks in a row. It was a pity because I was looking forward to playing the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship, but I have to manage it instead of playing all the time.
“I feel as though I’ve been getting better throughout the year. At the Senior Open I finished tied 16th and I should’ve been a little better than that. I don’t think I could’ve won but I certainly thought I could’ve been top five.
“At the British Par 3 Championship I played lovely and finished second. I feel like my confidence is coming back. The goal is to win something before the end of the year to give myself a nice winter and then crack on next year.”
The Scottish Senior Open begins gets under way on Thursday morning at 9:00am local time, with Lawrie teeing off at 10:00am and Lyle starting at 11:00am.
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