|Paul Lawrie (camflan)|
The 1999 Open winner triumphed over Jean van de Velde (who famously took a triple bogey on the final hole of regulation play) and Justin Leonard in a playoff at Carnoustie. Since then there have been times Lawrie wished he hadn’t won. He even suffered with depression three years after the major victory.
Martin Dempster of the Scotsman recently caught up with Lawrie as the golfer was promoting his new book, An Open Book:
“Understandably, the immediate focus, post-Open, was on van de Velde. I didn’t have a problem with that,” says Lawrie, who is signing copies of the book tonight in his home city. “But I did feel quite strongly that I should get some acclaim for playing so well on the last day and winning the play-off in, I felt, some style.Add to that people constantly getting your name wrong.
“I certainly felt [a] lack of respect and I can’t tell you how often I said to myself, over and over, ‘I wish I had never won that tournament’. I read a story recently and one of the comments on the website said that I was ‘one of the top-three worst major winners of all-time’. I thought that was harsh and it is disheartening to think people think that of me. But it is motivating, too. I’ll be trying very hard to become, in some minds at least, the worst-ever major winner in history.”
Lawrie said his name has often been mispronounced to sound like “Lowry” in the United States, which has bothered him. And when the Open champion showed up at Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE for his services to golf, officials announced him as “Peter Lawrie,” the name of an Irish player who, at that time, wasn’t competing on the European Tour.
You can win the trophy, but winning the recognition can be another thing altogether.
(Visor tip: Global Golf Post)