PAUL Lawrie won the Scottish Senior Open to claim his first Staysure Tour title in front of a home crowd at Craigielaw Golf Club.
The 1999 Open Champion battled gusty conditions throughout the final round to record a level par round of 71 to win his maiden over-50s title by two shots ahead of Peter Baker and Peter Fowler.
The Scotsman, who celebrated the 20th anniversary of his Major success at Carnoustie Golf Links in July, made the turn in 33 strokes, which was two-under par, and battled hard in the blustery conditions on the back nine to card a round of 71.
After battling injury last season and having turned 50 at the beginning of the year, Lawrie was delighted to clinch an inaugural win on the over-50s circuit, especially on home soil.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing in Scotland and that is my fourth win in my home country and I’m very proud of that,” said Lawrie who has always been regarded as one of the better foul-weather players on Tour, especially since coming from 10 shots back to beat Jean Van de Velde and Justin Leonard in that infamous play-off at Carnoustie.
“I think a lot of the players struggle to play in their own country with expectations on them,” added Lawrie, who hails from Aberdeen.
“But I’ve always felt comfortable playing in front of Scottish people.
“It doesn’t matter what tour it is, winning is difficult – it’s not easy. Peter Baker did a top effort to get in the house at level par.
“So my job was to get in at one-under – that was the only job I was thinking about, and I managed to finish one better than that.
“I’ve not won since 2012 on the European Tour. Obviously, I’m a senior now and I’m playing senior events.
“I want to be one of the top players on the Staysure Tour and I want to be one of the top seniors, so this win is a massive step to doing that.
“My game has been getting betting for a few weeks and I’ve been telling people that I’m getting there and I’m going to win soon.
“The Senior Open was the first week where I felt my foot and my back were where I needed them to be.
“My surgeon, Gordon Mackay, said it would take a year for my foot to be right.
“I thought my career was over with my foot the way that it was, but Gordon McKay did a great job.”
Baker, the winner of Senior Open Hauts de France in June, recorded a 70 to finish two strokes behind Lawrie in a share of second place with Australian Fowler, another wind specialist.
But the overnight leader was unable to follow his impressive five-under par 66 as he signed for a disappointing four over par 75.
Englishman David Shacklady and Austrian Markus Brier completed the top five as they finished at one-over.