Lawrie finally a winner again
Former Open champion bags first trophy in nine years
Last Updated: March 28, 2011 8:10am
Lawrie: Sticky start
Paul Lawrie claimed his first victory on the European Tour since 2002 when he lifted the Open de Andalucia by two strokes.
The Scot, who won the Open Championship in 1999, overcame a dreadful start to his final round to take the initiative on the back nine.
And with his main rivals failing to get their act together, the way was clear for Lawrie to return to the winners' enclosure with a level-par final round.
It seemed an unlikely outcome a few hours earlier after the 42-year-old bogeyed three of the first five holes while his playing partner in the final group, Mark Foster, started birdie-birdie to move two ahead.
But Englishman Foster, himself without a win for eight years, threw the tournament wide open again with a hat-trick of bogeys from the fifth.
And with Kenneth Ferrie, who started one behind overnight leader Lawrie, recording four bogeys in seven holes, the door was open for those further down the leaderboard to make a move.
Chile's Felipe Aguilar was one, finding himself in a share of the lead with his third birdie of the day at the 14th, but he gave it back at the next and eventually had to settle for third.
At the same time, Lawrie was going on a tear after reaching the turn in 37, making three successive birdies from the 10th before missing another attempt from less than three feet at the next.
However, he made amends at the next despite driving close to a tree stump, and it proved to be enough down the stretch.
Sweden's Johan Edfors briefly got it to 12-under after bogeying the first two holes but he dropped his fourth shot of the day at the 15th and parred-in for a 68.
That meant Lawrie had a cushion standing on the 18th tee and although he found a bunker with his approach, he splashed out to four feet and took the two putts he had in hand to clinch the win.
"It's been a long time - 2002 seems a hell of a time ago," he said. "I've had a few second places in there, but all of a sudden we're there again.
"It was going pear-shaped a little bit, but you've just got to keep going - that's all you can do.
"I played lovely and the putter behaved better. I got on a nice run at the right time."