GULLANE, Scotland – Paul Lawrie went 81-69 at Muirfield and thought there was no way he’d make the halfway cut.
So he headed home.
The 1999 Open champion drove more than two hours to his home in Aberdeenshire. He watched the coverage on TV, with the iPad propped up on the sofa. He had a bite to eat, and even walked his dog Bobo, a west highland terrier.
Lawrie was re-gripping a new set of Wilson irons when the text messages began pouring in. The back nine at Muirfield was becoming brutally difficult in the sunny and dry conditions, and the cut line kept sliding, from 6-over, to 7 over, to, eventually, 8 over. Now, Lawrie had a weekend tee time.
“When I came off the course, 6 over was 79th or 80th,” Lawrie said. “How is 8 over going to get in? It shows you how tough the course is.”
Lawrie packed a small bag and drove back toward Muirfield. “The roads were quiet,” he said, “so it was perfect.” He checked back into the Greywalls Hotel, where his reservation was booked for seven days, and was in his room a little after 11 p.m. local time.
“And we came back and had a lovely day,” said Lawrie, who shot 70 on Saturday.