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Paul Lawrie tries to recapture 1999 form

Paul Lawrie flew into Australia bubbling with New Year golfing resolutions.

The 1999 Open champion has endured a dismal last 12 months and is determined to recapture the Carnoustie form that made him a national hero in Scotland.

He hopes to make an impact in next week's World Match Play championship in Melbourne, insisting his experiences have made him a stronger and wiser player.

Since lifting the famous Claret Jug, Lawrie's form has been mediocre, and he reminded fans of his ability only in the Ryder Cup.

"I haven't played as well as I'd liked," he admitted.

"It is very difficult to perform at your best when you're not used to some of the things that have happened.

"This one year feels like ten years."

Lawrie has a genuine chance to be a winner again. With Tiger Woods and defending champion Darren Clarke not playing Down Under, he is one of the few major winners in the field.

The Scot, paired against American Jeff Sluman in his opening match, is happy to be out of the limelight again.

"I'm glad in one way 2000 is over. I am looking forward to being myself again," he said.

Lawrie will be joined by two other Scots - Gary Orr and Andrew Coltart - in the Melbourne field, as well as Welshman Phil Price and Irish pair Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley.

If there are no further withdrawals McGinley will face Price next Wednesday for a place in the last 32.

Orr and Harrington are set to play Americans Steve Pate and Glen Day respectively, while Coltart's scheduled opponent is Japanese star Shigeki Maruyama.

Westwood's absence means there is not a single Englishman in the 64-man field.


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