Peter Lawrie: Breaking soft-drink addiction broke my game

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Peter Lawrie was once a successful European Tour regular. He won a tournament back in 2008 and was consistently inside the circuit’s top 60 for years. At this time two years ago, Lawrie was ranked 161st in the world, only to drop to the mid-300s at this point last year and outside of the top 900 to begin this year.

That steady decline, he understands now, coincided with his realization that he owned a Coke addiction.

Coca-Cola, that is.

“I was addicted to it and I tried to stop it,” Lawrie told Newstalk in Ireland during its “Golf Weekly” podcast. “I was drinking liters of the stuff. Even in the hottest countries, like Malaysia, I would have Coke on the golf course, because I was addicted to it.”

Lawrie, 40, insists that he can trace his poor performances directly to taking up a fitness regimen that included cutting Coca-Cola out of his diet in mid-2013.

“I went from such a high on sugar to a dramatic low,” he continued. “And I never recovered from it. I really didn’t. That was the one thing. I know this might shock people, but I lost all confidence in myself. I wouldn’t say I went for a breakdown, but I got exceptionally emotional at the end of that year and some of last year, as well. It was just very difficult to deal with all of the situations that were coming at me. Whether that had anything to do with my mental state in any shape or form, I have no idea.”

Lawrie told Newstalk that he’s now drinking Coca-Cola once again, but rather than liters of it, he’s limiting his intake to two or three 12-ounce cans per day.

It’s apparently helping his game, too. After missing the cut in eight consecutive starts, he’s now reached the weekend in each of his last three, including a T-16 at last week’s Maybank Malaysian Open – his best finish since a T-10 at the 2013 Irish Open, three weeks before he quit drinking the cola.

“When you go through what I went through for the last 20-odd months, you have to look at every situation that you’ve been in and you think, ‘How did I get here?’ I’d spent the last five years as a consistent top-60 in the European Tour Order of Merit. I was exceptionally consistent. Then all of a sudden, I couldn’t even come close to making a cut.

“It just didn’t work. I don’t know whether it triggered something in my brain or whatever, but I wasn’t the same Peter Lawrie when I did it.”