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Paul Lawrie to call time on European Tour career after Scottish Open

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Former Open champion Paul Lawrie will call time on his European Tour career after completing his 620th appearance in this week’s ASI Scottish Open.

Lawrie, who lifted the Claret Jug at Carnoustie in 1999 and won seven other titles as well as being part of Europe’s ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in the 2012 Ryder Cup, has been hampered by a back injury in recent years and will focus his attention on the senior circuit from now on.

The 51-year-old is exempt for the Open Championship until the age of 60 but has yet to decide whether he will continue to compete in the game’s oldest major.

Scotland’s Paul Lawrie kisses the trophy after winning the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie (Ben Curtis/PA)

“There are a lot of factors behind the decision, the main one being that I don’t feel I can be competitive week in, week out at this level,” Lawrie said after an opening two-over-par 73 at the Renaissance Club.

“My back is not very good, I’ve got a herniated disc and I struggle to practice enough. I’m not able to hit the amount of balls I need. I’m not particularly talented so I lose my game quite quickly.

“I need to hit hundreds of balls but if I hit 50 or 60 now I have to go and sit down and come back in the afternoon.

“I’m also very busy off the course and I enjoy that more than the golf these days.

“To have played 620 events is not a bad innings considering I turned pro (in 1986) with a five handicap and didn’t think I’d play any. I haven’t been a great player, but I’ve been decent and that’s all you can ask for.

“I’m kind of almost pleased that I’m 51 and not 22 the

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Paul Lawrie: Scot to end European Tour career after 620 appearances

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Emotional Lawrie calls time on his European Tour career

Former Open champion Paul Lawrie says his “body is in bits” as he confirmed he will retire from the European Tour after this week’s Scottish Open.

The 51-year-old Scot, who lifted the Claret Jug at Carnoustie in 1999 and won seven other titles, has struggled with a back injury in recent years.

After his 620th Tour appearance, he will focus on the senior circuit.

“The main factor is I don’t feel I can be competitive week in, week out at this level,” said Lawrie.

“My back is not very good, I’ve got a herniated disc and I struggle to practise enough. I’m not able to hit the amount of balls I need. I’m not particularly talented so I lose my game quite quickly.

“I’m also very busy off the course and I enjoy that more than the golf these days.”

Lawrie – who posted an opening two-over-par 73 at the Renaissance Club in East Lothian – has an exemption for the Open Championship until 60, but is undecided over whether he will continue to play in the game’s oldest major.

He claimed his last European Tour title in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2012, the same year was part of Europe’s ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in the Ryder Cup.

“To have played 620 events is not a bad innings considering I turned pro [in 1986] with a five handicap and didn’t think I’d play any,” he added. “I haven’t been a great player, but I’ve been decent and that’s all you can ask for.

“I’m kind of almost pleased that I’m 51 and not 22 the way it’s going. Technology has been unbelievable. My body is in bits and I’m still hitting it the same distance as I did when