Paul Lawrie ‘delighted’ to lead Europe in Junior Ryder Cup

Scot says it is going to be ‘full on’ for Milwaukee match

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 7:38 pm
Paul Lawrie played against the Americans at Brookline in 1999 and also at Medinah 13 years later
Paul Lawrie played against the Americans at Brookline in 1999 and also at Medinah 13 years later

Paul Lawrie, a two-time Ryder Cup player, has been named as Team Europe’s captain for next year’s Junior Ryder Cup in Wisconsin.

The Scot said he is “absolutely delighted” to have been appointed in the post, having been heavily involved in junior golf since launching the Paul Lawrie Foundation in 2001.

Mainly in the north-east, that has provided opportunities for youngsters to start playing golf, with products including European Tour winner David Law and Sam Locke, the leading amateur in last year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

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“As soon as the call came in, I didn’t need long to think about taking on the role,” said Lawrie, the 1999 Open champion. “To be able to lead a team of the best juniors in Europe against America will be a completely novel experience for me. In terms of how I see the game growing, it’s an important role.

“It’s going to be full-on over the next ten months. I’m really looking forward to getting to some events during the year and watching the kids play.”

The eight-time European Tour winner made his Ryder Cup debut at Brookline in 1999 before bridging a 13-year gap to be part of the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ team in 2012.

He beat Brandt Snedeker 5&3 in the last-day singles in Chicago as Jose Maria Olazabal’s side staged a monumental comeback to win 14½-13½.

The Junior Ryder Cup sees the best male and female

junior amateurs from Europe and the USA go head-to-head in a mixed event. The biennial contest has seen many stars from world golf feature in the junior competition before excelling at the Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup.

Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy both succeeded in the event before also winning The Ryder Cup, while Suzanne Peterson and Carlota Ciganda both triumphed as amateurs before lifting the Solheim Cup.

“My wife, Marian, and I started the Foundation to get as many kids into the game as we possibly could,” added Lawrie.

“I bring a huge enthusiasm for junior golf to the role; it’s where the game needs to be – sadly that still gets lost on some members at golf clubs not treating juniors how they deserve to be treated.

“Today’s juniors are tomorrow’s adults, and

that’s an important message.”

The 2020 Junior Ryder Cup will be played at Blue Mound Golf and Country Club in Milwaukee from September 21-22.

Meanwhile, Bob MacIntyre has his sights set on landing a maiden European Tour win by emulating two of his fellow Scots in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic early next year.

The recently-crowned Rookie of the Year has been added to a star-studded cast for the event at the Emirates Golf Club on January 23-26.

It will be MacIntyre’s debut in the tournament held on the Majlis Course, where Stephen Gallacher recorded back-to-back title triumphs in 2013 and 2014. Prior to that, Colin Montgomerie also got his hands on the iconic coffee pot trophy in 1996 at the same venue.

“This year really couldn’t have gone much better,” said MacIntyre, who recorded seven top-10 finishes, including a tie for sixth on his major debut in The Open at Royal Portrush.

“I’ve come close to winning on a few occasions, which has been a great experience. I learned a lot each time and feel it is just a matter of time until I put it all together and win. If that were to be in Dubai, it would be amazing.”