1) Lawrie considering Ryder Cup captaincy

In an interview we did with Paul Lawrie last year the Aberdonian said he was a ‘back of the room kind of guy’. He doesn’t enjoy the limelight and the attention so it made sense that he was ‘100 per cent no’ to the prospect of being the Ryder Cup captain.

Thomas Bjorn is the favourite to take over the reins in Paris but there is plenty of support for the 1999 Open champ and he is considering his next move.

And it might all be down to Chubby Chandler, manager to this year’s skipper Darren Clarke. Lawrie played with Chandlder in the pro-am in Turkey last year and their conversation might prove pivotal in the near future.

“We had played only two or three holes and he hung back on one tee and he said, ‘are you going to go for it?’,” Lawrie told The Scotsman. “I said ‘no’ and he said, ‘why is that?’ I said, ‘I’ve been a vice-captain only once. They are not going to give it to someone who only been a vice-captain once’.

Paul Lawrie

“But he said, ‘nonsense’. I said to him that I’d read the other day that you needed the respect of all the players to be the captain. And he said, ‘you’ve got that in abundance’. So he was almost sort of saying that I should go for it.

“Chubby then made a really good point when he said that you’ve only to get three votes. It’s not as though you’ve got to convince 50 or 60 people. You’ve got to convince only the three previous captains that you’re capable of being the captain. All the bits you need to be good at, speaking, you can practise that. I’m just not 100 per cent sure that I’ve got the total respect of the top players, but maybe that’s just the way I see it.”

Lawrie, now 47, remains hopeful of still playing in the competition in two years despite some ordinary form in the past few years – he has finished outside the top 100 on the Race to Dubai the past three years.

“I feel 100 per cent that I can play in it in 2018 in France. It’s a big stretch from where I am now. I can understand that people will go, ‘come on, give yourself a shake.’ but I’ve done it before when I was worse than I am now and I made it in 2012. It doesn’t take an awful lot for me to get on a run, hole some putts and the confidence comes back.”

2) Jack; classy then, classy now

Jack Nicklaus turned pro 55 years ago last week. On his Twitter account he shared a letter he wrote to the then head of the USGA to explain his decision to turn pro.

Earlier that year Nicklaus had won the second of his US Amateur titles, the previous year he had finished second in another USGA event, the US Open, finishing two shots behind Arnold Palmer.

Nicklaus joined the pro ranks at the age of 21, he won the US Open in his first season beating Palmer in an 18-hole play-off.


3) Jack: classy then, class..oh Jack

Paul Lawrie


4) Willett out of World Cup, so is Westwood

OK, pay attention. Last week Danny Willett withdrew from the World Cup of Golf in Australia in a couple of weeks which, you might think, left his chosen playing partner Lee Westwood needing a new partner.

But the selection process is based on the highest-ranked player choosing his team-mate and that player is now Justin Rose. But he is still recovering from a back injury so opted out and that left Chris Wood, who did want to play. And the Bristolian plumped for Andy Sullivan which means Westwood now has a blank week. Wood is playing in the event for the second time while Sullivan will be making his debut.

Masters champion Willett has been out of form in recent times and missed the British Masters at The Grove with a back problem and he decided not to travel Down Under to make matters, form or health, worse at Kingston Heath. It would have been his fifth straight tournament on the trot.

“I was really looking forward to playing the World Cup with Lee Westwood, but considering everything, including the amount of travel involved and extra strain, decided that it was not in my best interests,” Willett said.

The Yorkshireman actually found some form at the weekend, after making the announcement, with rounds of 67-69 in Sun City.

Jamie Donaldson also pulled out of Wales’ team which lets in Stuart Manley who got the nod from Bradley Dredge.

5) Brookline all over again…