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Andalucian Open: Lawrie ends a nine-year wait for title

Scotland's Paul Lawrie is rarely lost for words but he was struggling straight after ending a nine-year winless drought by capturing the Andalucian Open at Malaga yesterday.

The 42-year former British Open winner carded a finalround 70 to win by a stroke with a 12-under-par tally in sunny but windy conditions on the Parador Malaga course.

Despite a two-putt bogey from four feet at the last, Lawrie held on to defeat Sweden's Johan Edfors, who carded a 68, by one, with Chilean Felipe Aguilar (68) a shot further back.

Dubliner Paul McGinley, the only Irish player to make the cut, sank under the weight of four bogeys and a double bogey to card a 75 and a share of 45th spot on level par.

Lawrie's last victory was at the 2002 Wales Open and since then he has had five seconds.

“Nine years is a hell of a long time and you have periods where you think it is not going to happen again, but here we are and it's really nice,” he said.

“But, to be fair, I am stuck for words and that's not like me.

“Given it has been such a long time since I last won on Tour, this win is huge. It's absolutely massive for me.

“The Open Championship (1991) and the Dunhill Links (2001) would go ahead of this win, but this win would be next on the list of my six wins now on Tour. It's a huge thing to happen to me and hopefully the confidence will kick on.”

Lawrie earned a €166,660 first prize cheque, along with a new watch and a round-the-world ticket by sponsors Turkish Airlines.

But Lawrie's only concern was getting the heavyweight trophy home to Aberdeen, given that South African Louis Oosthuizen had the same trophy taken off him on a flight to Manchester last year when airline staff deemed it a security risk.

The top of the Race to Dubai money list is unchanged, with Rory McIlroy still the leading Irishman in 10th position, while Graeme McDowell drops a place to 18th, being replaced by Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin, who shared fourth spot yesterday a week after winning in Sicily.

McGinley is remaining in Spain before catching a charter flight later today to Agadir in Morocco for the start of the Hassan II Trophy on Thursday.

Belfast Telegraph


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