Lawrie delivers in style
Paul Lawrie won the Johnnie Walker Championship by four shots, while Nicolas Colsaerts failed to overtake Martin Kaymer for a Ryder Cup spot.
Last Updated: 26/08/12 6:37pm
Paul Lawrie warmed up for the Ryder Cup with a four-shot victory at the Johnnie Walker Championship but there was disappointment for Nicolas Colsaerts, who fell short in his bid to dislodge Martin Kaymer for the final automatic spot on the European team.
With an out-of-form Kaymer opting to stay away from Gleneagles for the final qualifying event, Colsaerts needed to finish in the top two to overtake the German and guarantee himself a Ryder Cup debut in Medinah at the end of September.
But the Belgian, on six-under overnight, managed only a level-par 72 to end up in a share of 19th place, 10 shots behind Lawrie.
He must now wait until Monday to see if he is rewarded for his recent good form with one of European skipper Jose Maria Olazabal's two wild cards.
Lawrie has no such concerns. The 43-year-old Scot, preparing for his second Ryder Cup appearance 13 years after his debut at Brookline when he was reigning Open champion, pulled away in the final round for his second win of the season.
Leading by one overnight, Lawrie had birdies at the second and ninth on the way to the turn in 34 shots.
As his rivals dropped by the wayside, he picked up further strokes at the 11th and 14th before bouncing back from a bogey at 15 with another birdie at the next - his fifth of the day.
Two pars to finish gave him a four-under 68, a 16-under-par total and a four-stroke margin of victory over Australian Brett Rumford.
"I feel calmer in Scotland for some reason - it's weird - and I play some of my best golf too," said Aberdeen-born Lawrie, who has claimed three of his eight career victories on home soil and feels he is playing the best golf of his career this year.
He admitted the pressure of trying to secure his return to the Ryder Cup team had affected him in recent months, but he came into the tournament knowing his place was safe.
"I felt better - cooler - and things didn't bother me," he added.
Rumford birdied two of his last four holes in a one-under 71 that left him at 12-under-par for the tournament.
Sweden's Fredrik Andersson Hed fired the best round of the day, a seven-under 65 to finish tied for third alongside Dutchman Martin Lafeber (69) at 11 under and French youngster Romain Wattel (72).
Wattel, the 21-year-old from Bussy St Georges, had been Lawrie's closest rival at the start of the day but his challenge never recovered from two bogeys in his first four holes.
Among those in sixth place was 49-year-old Colin Montgomerie, his highest finish for more than four years.
Attention now turns to Olazabal, who appears to have earmarked one of his wild cards for Ian Poulter, a key man in Europe regaining the trophy from the United States at Celtic Manor two years ago.
Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington is another who has failed to qualify automatically but Colsaerts is confident his eight top 10s on the European Tour this season will be enough to earn him a debut.
"It's been a very long summer, I've only taken one week off in the last nine. That's because I want it (Ryder Cup place) badly," Colsaerts told Sky Sports.
"It has been a long time with my head down so am quite relieved I'm going to get some days to chill out.
"The situation hasn't really changed. Nobody made a statement big enough to get in front of me in the rankings.
"I'd like to think I'm still in a pretty good position."