Lawrie "streets" field
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2002 The Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open | Wrap | 12 Aug 2002
There are some who would suggest that the win by Paul Lawrie in the 1999 British Open was more a reflection on the way the Royal and Ancient Golf Club had overcooked a fine course, than that on the talents of Lawrie as a golfer. That could be argued both ways but there is little doubt that Lawrie is a very fine player.
I have the opportunity to first witness Lawrie in 1999 in Qatar where I was commentating for European Tour Productions. He won that event by eight shots and so impressed was I that I have made it my business to be a close observer of his game. As a result of his win at The Open he played several events in the US in 2000 but returned to Europe in 2001 culminating in his win in the lucrative Dunhill Links event at season’s end. This season he signalled that a win was not far away when he finished second at the European Open five weeks ago behind Michael Campbell.
He dominated this event from half way through his second round 65 and in the end won by four from England’s John Bickerton. Bickerton was a very good amateur golfer but took some time to get established as a player on tour. His breakthrough year was in 1999 when he finished second in Portugal to Van Phillips and proceeded to finish in 20th place on the Volvo Order of Merit.
Miko Ilonen, who contended for quite some time at the British Open at Lytham St Annes last year was alone in third, with Lucas Parsons and South African Matin Maritz in a tie for fourth. This is Parsons best finish in Europe since his win at the Greg Norman event in Australia in 2000 some two and a half years ago. Since that win he has played some sixty five European Tour events for just the one top ten until now.
Richard Green headed the rest of the Australasians in 9th place along with Jarrod Moseley, Peter Fowler was 14th, Elliott Boult 16th, Greg Turner 32nd and Stephen Scahill 63rd.