Lawrie departs after another green disaster

Paul Lawrie, the outgoing Open champion, will not even be bothering to watch the third round after his title defence came to a disappointing end at St Andrews yesterday.

Paul Lawrie, the outgoing Open champion, will not even be bothering to watch the third round after his title defence came to a disappointing end at St Andrews yesterday.

The 31-year-old Scot meekly surrendered the claret jug with a second-round 75, leaving him nine over par for the tournament and with no chance of making the cut. Yet again it was a sorry tale of missed putts which cost Lawrie his opportunity of playing the final two rounds. There was no repeat of the horrendous four-putt he managed on Thursday, but 33 strokes on the greens came well short of the required standard.

He reached the turn at level par after a bogey five at the fourth was cancelled out by a birdie three at the 9th. However he then took a double-bogey six at the 12th and a five at the par-four 17th.

"I am very frustrated, because I have not played that badly," he said. "It is not my swing, because that has been checked on video, and it is not my confidence because I feel I can hole every putt I take. But for some reason they are not dropping and on a course like St Andrews you cannot expect to make the cut if you can't sort the problem out."

Lawrie insisted the wrist injury he suffered during a coaching session on Wednesday had caused him minimal problems and that he had grown accustomed to the burden of being the Open champion.

But as he prepared to leave the home of golf, his manner suggested he will enjoy the peace of a quiet weekend.

"I'm not a big watcher of golf on TV so although I might tune in for the closing stages on Sunday I will find something else to do tomorrow," Lawrie said after yesterday's round. "I need to sort my putting out, but I have faith in my own ability and that of my coach to do it.

"It's disappointing not to make the cut, but I'll be back, you can be sure of that," he warned.

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