Former champion Paul Lawrie has expressed his pride at seeing one of the graduates from his foundation secure a place alongside him at next week’s 150th Open.
David Law will tee it up in his first major at St Andrews after claiming one of the three places on offer to players not already exempt who finished in the top 10 of the Horizon Irish Open on Sunday.
Law’s chances suffered a potentially fatal blow when he bogeyed the par-five 17th in the final round, but the 31-year-old from Aberdeen saved par from a greenside bunker on the last to finish joint fourth with a closing 67.
“He came through our Foundation from quite an early age so I’ve known Davie and his family a long, long time,” Lawrie told the PA news agency as he supported The 150th Open Championship Claret Jug tour.
“I know how excited he is to be playing next week. He’s really looking forward to it.
“I was watching on Sunday and he had two holes to play, one of which is a par five, and you’re thinking if he could birdie here I don’t think winning was out of the question at that stage, but then he made six there but a great up and down on 18.
“You could tell by his reaction that he knew he had to hole that putt to give himself a chance. After making six at 17 he would have been gutted at doing that, so to step up to the plate and make a gutsy four at the last was great to see.”
Lawrie, who set up his foundation two years after lifting the Claret Jug at Carnoustie in 1999, added: “Obviously it’s all about Davie and his family but it’s great for us, great news for the foundation that someone’s come through to not only get on Tour and then win on Tour, but then play in his first major.
“Hopefully we’re going to get a practice round together next week and have a chat on the way round – not that he needs much of my advice.
“He just needs to enjoy it. It’s difficult, he’s a Tour pro and he’s got a job to do so you can’t be enjoying it too much, but you just need to soak it all in, enjoy the experience.
“His first major is only going to happen once and it’s a huge week for him. He’s playing lovely so he’s just got to get his head down, treat it like a normal tournament and see what happens.”