Lawrie eyeing Ryder Cup push

Paul Lawrie is confident of a comeback this season after he slumped to 112 in the world rankings last year.

His goal is to earn a place in the 2014 European Ryder Cup team, due to take place at Gleneagles in late September.

“I think I’ve got myself sorted out and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in,” the Scotsman told BBC Scotland.

Lawrie will tee off at the Abu Dhabi Golf Challenge on January 16 for his first round of the season. Following that, he will stay in the Middle East to participate in the Qatar Masters, where he was victorious in 2012, and the Dubai Desert Classic.

However, the Scot admits the pressure is tough.

“When you are a professional sportsman, you’re dealing with pressure every week, more from myself,” said the 44-year-old.

“I want to do as well as I can, every week and the goal is to try and play everything down.

“Obviously, it’s impossible not to think about the Ryder Cup because everyone keeps reminding me of it; it’s that big a deal.”

Bernard Gallacher, a former Ryder Cup skipper, holds Lawrie in high regard and even depicted him as the ‘catalyst’ behind the resurgent European team who pulled off the epic win in 2012 at Medinah.

At Medinah, Lawrie lost in the two four-ball competitions but won a crucial singles match against Brandt Snedeker.

This year, Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley will selected three wildcards to add to the team, with the other nine players qualifying automatically using the European and World points list.

“The way I played last year, I would have had no chance of making a team of that kind of quality,” continued Lawrie.

“Even if I don’t make it automatically, my job is to give captain McGinley a bit of a headache about whether to pick me or not.

“I need to put myself up there and put some good performances on the board.

“Last year was a combination of not hitting as many fairways and greens as I did the year before and taking more putts. Those three factors add up to be a complete nightmare.

“So I’ve worked on my swing and it’s probably better than it was in 2012. My putting feels a whole lot better; I’ve hit thousands of putts over the winter and there’s a lot of confidence coming back with that,” concluded Lawrie.