Lawrie clinches European Ryder Cup team place

Scotsman Paul Lawrie clinched a place on the European Ryder Cup

team, 13 years after making his debut in the competition.

The 43-year-old Lawrie last played in the Ryder Cup in 1999, and

secured his presence in Jose Maria Olazabal’s side this year when

Sergio Garcia won the delayed Wyndham Championship in North

Carolina on Monday.

Lawrie is fourth on the European qualifying points table and now

cannot be unseated no matter the outcome of this week’s final

qualifying events – the Johnnie Walker Championship on the European

Tour and the Barclays Championship on the PGA Tour.

”It’s nice and absolutely done,” said Lawrie. ”So chuffed to

be in the team. It’s been a long time. It’s been 13 years since I

played last time, so can’t wait.”

Lawrie will likely be the oldest player on either team.

”There have been older players that have played in the Ryder

Cup and I’m 43 but it’s unique not to have played in it so long and

to come back at that age and qualify,” said Lawrie. ”Sometimes

you don’t realize how good you’ve got to play to get in a team like

that and to qualify fourth or fifth, and how well you got to do

it.”

Lawrie is among three members of Olazabal’s side contesting this

week’s event in Scotland.

He is joined by Italian Francesco Molinari, lying fifth on the

points table, and Sweden’s Peter Hanson in seventh.

Also playing will be Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium, 12th on the

points table, England’s David Lynn, who is 13th, and Spain’s Rafa

Cabrera-Bello in 14th.

Colsaerts, who arrived in Scotland after finishing seventh

behind Garcia on Monday, can find his way inside the leading 10

Ryder Cup qualifiers by finishing in the top two at Gleneagles.

That would knock Germany’s Martin Kaymer, who is currently 10th,

outside automatic qualification and needing a wildcard pick because

the 2010 PGA champion is not competing this week.

The Ryder Cup will be played Sept. 25-30 at the Medinah Country

Club in Illinois. Medinah has hosted three U.S. Opens (1949, 1975

and 1990) along with two PGA Championships (1999 and 2006). It also

hosted the 1988 U.S. Senior Open.

Olazabal will announce his two wildcard picks along with his

fourth and final vice-captain on Monday at Gleneagles.