Lawrie turns over new leaf

By Brian Keogh

Peter Lawrie hopes to write a whole new chapter in his career after being reunited with a favourite psychology book in Singapore.

The Dubliner, 32, scorched to six under par 66 to share sixth place after the first round of the 205-man Clariden Leu Singapore Masters.

And he put his lowest round of the season down to the self-help book "What To Say When You Talk To Yourself", which he rediscovered this week after a desperate three-year search.

As Darren Clarke's poor form continued with a two over par 74 on the Masters Course, China's Wen-Chong Liang and Aussie Marcus Fraser grabbed a one shot lead after matching 64s on the easier Classic Course at Laguna National.

But Lawrie was breathing a sigh of relief after missing his first four cuts this term and not even a bogey on the Classic's 18th could wipe the smile off his face.

After firing six birdies in his first eight holes, Lawrie said: "It was a good start especially since I have missed the last four cuts in a row so my confidence is at a bit of a low at the moment.

"I was beginning to think am I ever going to break 70 and that was not from the lack of work as I have been working hard with my coach Brendan McDaid.

"We have not really changing anything at all and it was more the psychology part of the game that was getting me down.

"I'd get off to a bad start and then begin worrying about it rather than just forget it and get on with my golf so my goal this week is to hit one shot at a time and see what happens."

Lawrie put his new found confidence down to a lucky find in his hotel book shop.

Shad Helmstetter's best seller had been recommended to the Castleknock professional by his former coach Howard Bennett back in his amateur days.

But after lending the book to a friend - never to see it again - the Dubliner had failed to find another copy until Tuesday and has since devoured eight chapters.

Lawrie explained: "I couldn't believe it. I went into the book shop just to browse around as you do and not thinking for a moment I would find the book.

"It was one of those magic moments as they only had one copy left even though it took the chap some time to find it as it had been placed in the wrong section of the library.

"The book focuses on how many times your sub-conscious talks to you when you are undertaking tasks and you begin to learn to talk to yourself properly in a more productive manner.

"Everybody goes through a poor spell and you just have to grin and bear it and keep on going and this round has been great if for the fact that it's got rid of a lot of rubbish from my head."

With a record 205-strong field, the Classic Course is one of two tracks being used for this week's co-sanctioned event at Laguna National.

But Lawrie scorched out of the blocks with six birdies in his first eight holes - adding two birdies and two bogeys after that to finish in a five-man logjam for sixth place.

Lawrie explained: "It was a great start to be six under par after eight though I only holed one 20-footer on the second and all the rest where around five to six foot birdie putts so it was nothing spectacular putting wise but I played lovely tee to green."

Damien McGrane hit a two under par 70 on the Classic Course, where Gary Murphy had to settle for a one over par 73.

But it was a tough day at the office for world No 52 Clarke on the more difficult Masters Course where he mixed three birdies with three bogeys and a double bogey to slip to a share of 134th place.

The Ulsterman, 38, who needs to move up two spots in the rankings this week to qualify for the limited field WGC-CA Championship at Doral in two weeks' time.


(Gbr & Irl unless stated)

64 Liang Wen-Chong (Chn), Marcus Fraser (Aus)

65 Jyoti Randhawa (Ind), Shingo Katayama (Jpn), Barry Hume

66 Martin Kaymer (Ger), Graeme Storm, Angelo Que (Phi), Peter Lawrie, Mark Brown (Nzl)

67 Peter Hanson (Swe), Unho Park (Aus), Adam Blyth (Aus), Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa)

Other Irish

70 Damien McGrane; 73 Gary Murphy; 74 Darren Clarke; 76 Eddie Barr.