Padraig Harrington insists that Peter Lawrie must have more belief in himself as he prepares to make his US Open debut at a punishing Olympic Club.
The triple major winner is deeply impressed by his former amateur pal but he also knows that Lawrie faces a baptism of fire when he makes his first appearance in a US major tomorrow.
After accompanying Lawrie in his first practice round this week, Harrington said: “Peter is playing lovely golf, he just needs to believe in himself more. The problem Peter has is that it’s his first US Open.
“As much as I would like to say gee-whizz, he’s got a nice game, it’s his first time ever in a US Major…”
Lawrie proved with his fourth place finish in last month’s BMW PGA at Wentworth that he is a serious competitor on tough courses.
And while his inner circle has been stung by media remarks a few years ago that his game is “about as interesting as watching paint dry” he’s proud of his patient game and believes it could pay dividends this week.
After outplaying Luke Donald and Ernie Els from tee to green over the weekend at Wentworth, he admits that he is beginning to gain more belief in the quality of his golf.
The Olympic Club suits his straight hitting style and left to right shape with the irons and while he’s realistic about his chances, he’s not overawed either.
“I’d be foolish to think my first US Open, I could come in and win it,” Lawrie said. “That’s not really my goal. My goal is to try and play as decent as I have been and give myself an opportunity.
“My agenda is not just to come here and make the cut. My agenda is to come here and play as well as I have been. If that happens, I’d give myself a chance.”
As for his long overdue debut in a US major he said: “I’ve felt like I’ve played well for the last couple of years and have never played in any. I’ve kind of felt watching it on TV, ‘jeez, I should be there and I’m not’.
“But now I’ve my chance to actually play in it and I feel like I’m justifiably here.”