Humbling loss motivation for Lawrie

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 01, 2012
With his career drifting along -- maybe even winding down -- and his British Open victory a distant memory, Paul Lawrie got the kick he needed when his 14-year-old son beat him over nine holes. The Scot decided then he just wasn't working hard enough. Lawrie's rude awakening at the hands of oldest son, Craig, three years ago was the catalyst, he said, to a strong comeback year in 2012 when he finished in the top 10 on the European Tour money list for the first time in a decade. ''I was proud of him for beating me,'' Lawrie said of that sobering nine-hole experience with young Craig in 2009, ''but I was also quite disappointed. You think, 'Man he should not be beating me.' '' Motivated by the defeat, the 1999 British Open champion put in the hours on the range and finally ended a nine-year title drought at last year's Open de Andalucia. This year, Lawrie has two tournament wins, a Ryder Cup success and that top 10 finish on the Race to Dubai. The 43-year-old Lawrie also was in contention for an ideal end to the year at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa after a second-round 69 for a 1-shot lead heading into the weekend at Sun City. Lawrie's carefully measured round at Gary Player Country Club on Friday was one of just two sub-70 scores in the first two days at the Nedbank. Even after stumbling to a third-round 75 on Saturday, he is in sixth place, only four shots behind leader Martin Kaymer. Lawrie's newfound game was owed to his son, who is now 17 and a scratch golfer, Lawrie said. ''I was not horrendous, but I was not as good as I should have been,'' Lawrie said. ''Then Craig beat me over nine holes, and that just gave me the kick I needed to be better. I decided I was getting a bit lazy and not putting the work in I should be. He did well.'' Lawrie's Open win at Carnoustie 13 years ago is scarcely forgettable after he made up a 10-shot deficit in the final round aided by Frenchman Jean van de Velde's meltdown on the last hole. Lawrie won in a playoff over Van de Velde and Justin Leonard for his only major win. But after the Wales Open in 2002, he didn't win again until last March in Spain and was thinking about cutting back his golf commitments and perhaps letting his career tail off completely at the age of just 40. ''I was thinking of slowing down a wee bit . . . playing a bit less. I was not very competitive on the tour at the time,'' Lawrie said. Then came that kick from Craig -- when he lost to his son for the first time -- and Lawrie's strong comeback season this year ensured he is now very much a full-time professional golfer again with earnings of $2.5 million in 2012 and seven other top-10 finishes to go with victories at the Qatar Masters and the Johnnie Walker Championship. ''I came back here a more experienced player, certainly a better player than I was in 1999,'' Lawrie said at his first Sun City appearance since the year he won the British Open. If he finds himself slipping again, the son's progress will likely still be a motivation. Craig is going to play full-time as an amateur next year.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl


Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker