Peter Lawrie drives at the seventh during the first round of the Johnnie Walker Championship, being played over the 2014 Ryder Cup Course, the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles. Picture Stuart Adams / Peter Lawrie is making a habit of getting into the running early in European Tour events but it remains to be seen if he can stick around for 72 holes and grab his second European Tour win.

The Dubliner opened with a four under 68 in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles’ PGA Centenary course to lie just two strokes behind pace-setter Mark Foster.

“I’ll try not to get ahead of myself,” said Lawrie, who led after the first round of last week’s Czech Open only to fade to tied 37th. “Last week was uncomfortable, coming from two weeks off. Shooting such a good score first round it would have been better to play into it. But you can’t pick and choose when you shoot a score.”

Lawrie has come close to winning several times since he claimed his maiden European Tour victory in the 2008 Spanish Open, losing play-offs in the 2009 KLM Open and last year’s Czech Open.

Two years ago he could have qualified for Paul McGinley’s Great Britain and Ireland Seve Trophy team but opted not to play in the Mercedes Benz Championship as his wife had just given birth.

He has another chance to make that side again this year - it takes place in Paris from September 15-18 - given the likely withdrawal of a number of GB&I stars - and has been told by skipper McGinley to make a concerted effort to qualify.

Paul McGinley finds an akward position from the ninth tee on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles. Picture Stuart Adams /www.golffile.ieQualifying ends after next week’s Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

Damien McGrane shot a three under 69, Simon Thornton a 70, Shane Lowry an even par 72 and Michael Hoey a 73. However, McGinley drove the ball poorly and had to settle for a 74 after finishing double bogey, bogey, bogey.