Lawrie itching for Ryder Cup berth
Former Open champion Paul Lawrie believes he will again have to balance his schedule perfectly to qualify for next year's Ryder Cup.
Lawrie was desperate to be part of Jose Maria Olazabal's team for Medinah in 2012, 13 years since his only previous appearance in the event came as a result of his triumph at Carnoustie.
The 44-year-old was eventually confirmed in the side just before winning the Johnnie Walker Championship, the final qualifying event, but admits it was hard to resist the temptation to play too often when he was chasing vital points.
"I wanted to get in Jose's team because I've got a lot of respect for him and I knew how much the Ryder Cup meant to him," Lawrie said before getting the defence of his title under way on the Centenary Course.
"But I also felt it would be easier to get into the Gleneagles team if I got on Jose's team. If you go 15 years since you've played in the Ryder Cup, I'm not sure it's kind of doable for somebody. So I thought I had to get into the Medinah team to give me a better chance of getting in the Gleneagles team, which I've done.
"It would be unbelievable to get on the team again, but when it means so much to you it hurts your performance. I managed to get the balance right last time when I was desperate to get in, but it's a hard thing to get right.
"I got it wrong a couple of times. I was desperate to get on Sam Torrance's team (postponed from 2001 to 2002) and tried too hard, played too much and got it wrong. I got it right last time and I really want to be on the team here. That would be cool."
Lawrie won three and a half points out of five in the controversial defeat at Brookline in 1999 and one point from three matches in 2012, crucially beating Brandt Snedeker 5&3 in the singles at Medinah as Europe came from 10-6 down.
He has already spoken to captain Paul McGinley about his prospects of being involved next year, with the possibility of bad weather perhaps playing into his hands.
"Paul sat down with me for about an hour in China (in May) and we chatted about bits and pieces," added Lawrie, who won his eighth European Tour title by four shots here 12 months ago but has just managed just one top-10 finish in 2013, and that back in January.
"He mentioned that he felt we might have waterproofs on a little bit this time next year and there's no-one that prefers a jacket more than me. I got the feeling he wanted me as part of the team and he did a good job.
"He's good at that, he's a great lad and he's been around the Ryder Cup so many times. He knows what to do. His man-management skills are excellent so I'd love to be part of his team."