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Lawrie eyeing another morale-boosting finish

Finishing second in Dubai last year set Scotsman up for a return to form

Gulf News

Dubai: Last year’s DP World Tour Championship runner-up Paul Lawrie is looking for another yearend confidence boost to set up him for another successful year in 2013.

The 43-year-old Scotsman has won the Qatar Masters and Johnnie Walker Championship this season — his first tournament double in 13 years, since his 1999 Qatar Masters and Open Championship brace.

And he says the self-belief to rediscover such halcyon days came from the narrow loss to Alvaro Quiros at Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Earth Course at this stage last year. He only lost out to the Spaniard by two shots thanks to Quiros’ 40-foot eagle putt on the 18th on the final day.

“My confidence got a huge boost at this tournament last year, there’s no question,” he told media yesterday. “I think that was the week that really gave me the self-belief. To finish second in this event with the field that we had last year, it can’t do anything but good for your confidence.

“I think a lot of play this year goes down to this event. Last year was the real kind of start again of where I felt I belonged again in the top 50.”

Lawrie added: “When you’re out there for so long, every golfer has spells where they kind of lose a bit of what they have got. This week last year kind of gave me back a lot of that, so it was good.

“Even though I won in Malaga at the start of 2011, I had a few months in the summer where I didn’t play very well and I didn’t putt very well, and was struggling a wee bit with confidence. And all of a sudden, you turn up at this event and have the chance to win on the back nine.

“It gives you confidence, when you go close to winning tournaments of this size. You know that you can compete and that you can beat these guys on any given week.

“What I take from last year is I obviously came within two shots of winning, so I can play the golf course, I know how to get the ball around. It’s just a matter of how you play on the week. I love the course and I love the way it sets up. The greens are just beautiful so I would like to think I will hole my fair share this week.”