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Lawrie returns to Ryder Cup after 13 years

BERNIE MCGUIRE
Last updated 07:21 22/08/2012
Paul Lawrie
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BACK TO BEST: Paul Lawrie will make his Ryder Cup return, 13 years after he was last selected.

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Scotsman Paul Lawrie clinched a place on the European Ryder Cup team, 13 years after making his debut in the competition.

The 43-year-old Lawrie last played in the Ryder Cup in 1999, and secured his presence in Jose Maria Olazabal's side this year when Sergio Garcia won the delayed Wyndham Championship in North Carolina yesterday.

Lawrie is fourth on the European qualifying points table and now cannot be unseated no matter the outcome of this week's final qualifying events - the Johnnie Walker Championship on the European Tour and the Barclays Championship on the PGA Tour.

"It's nice and absolutely done," said Lawrie. "So chuffed to be in the team. It's been a long time. It's been 13 years since I played last time, so can't wait."

Lawrie will likely be the oldest player on either team.

"There have been older players that have played in the Ryder Cup and I'm 43 but it's unique not to have played in it so long and to come back at that age and qualify," said Lawrie. "Sometimes you don't realize how good you've got to play to get in a team like that and to qualify fourth or fifth, and how well you got to do it."

Lawrie is among three members of Olazabal's side contesting this week's event in Scotland.

He is joined by Italian Francesco Molinari, lying fifth on the points table, and Sweden's Peter Hanson in seventh.

Also playing will be Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium, 12th on the points table, England's David Lynn, who is 13th, and Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello in 14th.

Colsaerts, who arrived in Scotland after finishing seventh behind Garcia on Monday, can find his way inside the leading 10 Ryder Cup qualifiers by finishing in the top two at Gleneagles.

That would knock Germany's Martin Kaymer, who is currently 10th, outside automatic qualification and needing a wildcard pick because the 2010 PGA champion is not competing this week.

The Ryder Cup will be played September 25-30 at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois. Medinah has hosted three US Opens (1949, 1975 and 1990) along with two PGA Championships (1999 and 2006). It also hosted the 1988 US Senior Open.

Olazabal will announce his two wildcard picks along with his fourth and final vice-captain on Monday at Gleneagles.

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- AP

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