Jul 28th, 2015
Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play
New Matchplay tournament preview
Words: Sandy Carlisle Photography: Getty Images
Match Play – some say it’s the purest form of the game, and it’s a format we love. Play against the player or the course? It’s where rivalries are born.
Seldom seen in professional golf, we’re rationed to the Volvo World Match Play Championship, the WBC-Cadillac Match Play Championship, and of course the team events The Ryder Cup (greatest team event in sport), and the President’s Cup. But did you know the PGA Championship also used to be Match Play format? At least until 1958 anyway – wonder what it would be like to have one of the Majors as a match play tournament once again…
But sound the trumpets, as Paul Lawrie, in conjunction with his management company 4Sports Entertainment, is bringing the fantastic format to the European Tour this week as he hosts the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play, at Murcar Links Golf Club near the former Open Champion’s Aberdeen home.
Lawrie has had a fine run in form over the last few weeks at the Aberdeen Asset Scottish Open and The Open Championship. He’s looking to perform well at this weeks inaugural €1 million event.
“My form is one of many reasons why I’m very excited about the week. It’s fantastic to be bringing another European Tour event to my home town of Aberdeen, after the Scottish Open was held at Royal Aberdeen last year.
“Match play is a format we don’t get to play too often on Tour, so it’s very exciting for the players and also for the fans. I can’t wait to get going.”
The tournament will see 64 players going head to head in a straight knock out format over four days, with two rounds on both Saturday and Sunday.
In addition to Lawrie there are some big names teeing it up. 2 times major winner John Daly, as well as Lawrie’s fellow Scots Marc Warren and Richie Ramsay.
Marc Warren is currently the highest ranked player from Scotland and had a great Open Championship. Look out also for Ramsay – he holds the course record of 62 at Murcar Links (which included a double bogey 6 by the way), and has form in match play, winning the US Amateur Championship in 2006.
Other notables include Ryder Cup star Edoardo Molinari and GolfPunk favourite Nicolas Colsaerts, as well as European Tour winners James Morrison, Chris Wood and Kiradech Aphibarnat.
The draw for the first round will be made on Tuesday afternoon at 3.30pm.