Lawrie: “It was brutal”

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Paul Lawrie was happy to get back in the clubhouse after shooting an 81 in terrible conditions at The Open on Saturday.

Paul Lawrie was happy to get back in the clubhouse after shooting an 81 in terrible conditions at The Open on Saturday.

The Scot only just avoided his worst ever score in The Open, as the wind, rain and cold continued to batter the players out on the Royal St George’s course.

Lawrie is now at 14 over for the tournament, after having just made the cut at three over, and he was particularly unhappy with the 495-yard fourth hole, where the tee had only been pushed 26 yards forward.

He ran up a triple-bogey seven there after hitting his drive into the infamous 40-foot high ‘Himalayas’ bunker.

He ran up another triple-bogey seven at the 14th, but perhaps he can take heart from the fact that it was far from the worst score there – France’s Gregory Havret had a quintuple-bogey 10.

“That was fun!,” Lawrie said sarcastically after his round.

“The Saturday at Muirfield in 2002 (the day Colin Montgomerie followed a 64 with an 84 and Tiger Woods shot 81) was worse than that, but now it’s getting to that stage.

“I didn’t play very good, but it was brutal.

“I thought the fourth tee was really poor. They could have gone 50 or 60 yards up minimum to give you a chance.

“There’s only about two or three people in the whole field who can hit it 250 into a howling gale in pouring rain.

“I necked it, but you’re aiming in the left rough.”

One of the players coping the best with the conditions was veteran Tom Watson, who was only one over for his round nearing the 18th.

“A 76 or 77 would be a hell of a score, but it’s not unplayable – Tom Watson played the first 10 in one under. Frightening,” said Lawrie.

“I think I went through six or seven pairs of gloves, four or five towels.

“I said to the crowd at the 15th that they were mental. I’m getting paid and have to be here, but they’re not.”

Paul Casey, who finished with a 78, was full of praise for the spectators who braved the wind and the cold to pack out the course.

“The crowds were unbelievable,” said the Englishman.

“They were heroes. I was expecting one man and a dog, but we had a couple of thousand on the first hole. I’ve got to applaud them.”

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