Masters: Paul Lawrie enjoys a special return to Augusta

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Scotland’s Paul Lawrie was a very happy man on his return to the Masters after a gap of eight years.

The 43-year-old’s 69 was the first time he had broken 70 at Augusta, and when he eagled the 13th it was his first one in 265 holes at Augusta.

Lawrie then had to wait only two more for his next one, chipping in from 45ft, and he ended the day in a tie for fourth only two behind Englishman Lee Westwood.

The 1999 Open champion admitted he had a chuckle to himself at the start when the official starter announced to the crowd in his southern drawl: “Fore please, Paul Lawrie now driving.”

Lawrie said: “I had forgotten about that. That’s how they do it here – it’s pretty cool.”

Little over a year ago he stood 272nd in the world. Now he is back in the game’s top 50 – and staying there during a recent bout of bronchitis is what earned him his place this week.

“I’m still a little bit weak and not quite 100 per cent. But I don’t really have any aspirations of any tournament that I play – I try and play one shot at a time.

“I found that’s kind of cost me in the past. As soon as you think you’re playing well and your confidence is high then this game tends to get you a wee bit. There’s a long way to go.”