Paul Lawrie looks forward to Senior Open bow at Royal Lytham and St Annes: Fylde coast golf round-up

Paul Lawrie is looking to add the Senior Open crown to The Open Championship title he won 20 years ago
Paul Lawrie is looking to add the Senior Open crown to The Open Championship title he won 20 years ago

Paul Lawrie ushered in the next chapter of his career after turning 50 on New Year’s Day, with a trip to Royal Lytham and St Annes for The Senior Open Presented by Rolex high on his list of priorities in his first year as a senior golfer.

Paul Lawrie ushered in the next chapter of his career after turning 50 on New Year’s Day, with a trip to Royal Lytham and St Annes for The Senior Open Presented by Rolex high on his list of priorities in his first year as a senior golfer.

The Scot, who won The Open on home soil at Carnoustie in 1999, is planning on playing on both the European Tour and Staysure Tour.

The Senior Open Presented by Rolex returns to Royal Lytham and St Annes for the first time in 25 years, when Championship is held for the 33rd time from July 25-28.

After seeing Paul Broadhurst, Bernhard Langer and Miguel Ángel Jiménez lift The Senior Open Trophy over the past three years, Lawrie is excited to do battle.

“I’ve been looking forward to turning 50 for quite some time,” said Lawrie. “I’ve seen the success that the guys have had in senior golf and I’m looking forward to having the chance to emulate their achievements.

“I’m planning on splitting my time between the European Tour, Staysure Tour and PGA Tour Champions this year and it’s encouraging to see someone like Miguel prove that you can successfully balance your playing commitments across the three Tours.

The last time he teed it up at Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lawrie finished tied 34th at The Open in 2012, when he equalled his lowest-ever score in golf’s original Championship with a five under par 65 in his opening round.

He was one stroke behind Australia leader Adam Scott after the first round but ended the tournament four over.

“I was really disappointed with how I played after that fantastic first round,” said Lawrie. “It was one of the most bizarre starts I’ve ever had because after six holes I’d only had three putts – I’d chipped in twice and holed one from off the green.

“I think Lytham is one of the world’s best links challenges and always enjoy playing there, so I’m really looking forward to returning in July.”

Lawrie will be one of a host of Major Champions, Ryder Cup stars and European Tour winners set to tee it up at Royal Lytham during one of the most celebrated weeks of the 2019 golfing calendar.

He will join defending champion Jiménez, three-time Senior Open winner Langer and former Open Champion Tom Lehman, who won the Claret Jug at Royal Lytham in 1996.

Early Bird tickets for The Senior Open are available from £10 and can be purchased via: st.golf/SO19Tickets Admission for under-16s will be free.

There was a good turnout for Knott End Ladies’ first competition of the year.

The weather was kind for the nine-hole Stableford won by Elaine Wrench with a score of 21 points. Runner-up was Alex Gardner with 17.

The men’s greensomes stableford at Fairhaven was won by Daniel Ryley and Ian Walker with 37 points. Runners-up were James Fleming and Stephen Walthew (37).

The winning trio in the ladies’ nine-hole yellow ball were Carol Hood, Anne Weston and Michelle Hancock with 40 points.

Fairhaven’s Men’s 4BBB Stableford over Christmas was won by Gary Barber and Paul Mooney with 43 points. Ian Malin and Simon Holdsworth were second (38).

The Ladies Give n Take nine-holer was won by Susanne Cunningham (19 points), with Yvonne Reilly second (19) and Lynn Griffiths third (18).

To start the New Year, Alastair Taylor of Lytham Golf Academy advises on adding spin to your pitch shots...

The use of launch monitors in recent years has enabled us to see which lofts create the best spin.

Generally speaking, a wedge with 54 degrees will produce the most backspin on a pitch shot.

Now this may vary slightly depending on how you deliver the club, but even without getting a wedge fitting, you can start using whichever loft you have which is closest to 54 degrees and see that ball stop quicker on the green.

As well as using a better loft of wedge, also make sure you accelerate through impact enough.

More speed will also help to generate more spin, so try shortening your backswing slightly and following through a little bit longer.

By combining the correct loft with more speed, you will spin your pitch shots more than ever before.

You can contact Alastair at Lytham Golf Academy on 1772 631520 tune into his YouTube channel AliTaylorGolf for many more free tips to help your game.