Tartan Tour is a one-off for Andrew Coltart

Andrew Coltart.  Picture:  Ian Rutherford
Andrew Coltart. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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EAST LOTHIAN resident Andrew Coltart insists that his appearance in this week’s Paul Lawrie Invitational in Aberdeen is almost certain to be a one-off.

The former Ryder Cup player has come out of retirement to tee it up in the Tartan Tour event, having last played competitively more than two years ago.

He didn’t disgrace himself with an opening 73 at Deeside, where two-times Scottish Amateur champion David Law took route 66 to set the pace.

But Coltart has no plans to crank up his career again and admitted that he will be happier when he’s either back working as a Sky Sports analyst or involved with his Tpgs coaching at Archerfield Links.

“It was a reminder of a few days in the not too distant past,” he said of an opening round that contained halves of 39 and 34.

“I didn’t enjoy the front nine and, while the back nine was better, there won’t be many more of these appearances, believe me.”

Coltart, who lives Aberlady, accepted an invitation to play on this occasion as a mark of respect for Lawrie, a team-mate in the 1999 Ryder Cup. “Chippy does a tremendous job with his Foundation, as we know, so I’m here for him,” added the two-times European Tour winner.

“Prior to the last couple of weeks, I’d only played 14 times in the last two years.

“And, though I’d both practised and played a bit in the last fortnight, it was because I was playing in corporate and charity events rather than playing in this.”

“I was actually hoping to be a bit better than 73, but I shouldn’t really be expecting anything as there’s a good bunch of players out there.”

He picked out a birdie-2 at the 12th set up by a 6-iron to three feet as the highlight of his round.

“But the lights were well and truly dimmed on the front nine,” added Coltart. “I think it was a case of the subconscious kicking in and my body not working as one.”

Kingsfield’s Mark King led the Lothians challenge after a 70, one better than both Paul Wardell (Whitekirk) and Craig Gordon (Edinburgh Golf Centre).

Elsewhere, Dunbar’s Neil Fenwick made an encouraging start in the European Tour Qualifying School first stage event at Wychwood Park in Crewe.

Last week’s Carnegie Invitational winner carded a two-under 70 to sit joint-third – four shots off the lead.