Peter Lawrie drives at the 16th during the second round of the Johnnie Walker Championship, being played over the 2014 Ryder Cup Course, the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles. Picture Stuart Adams /www.golffile.ieHe went into the Irish Open with a putter he retrieved from his garage collection, hoping it might spark some better form on the greens.

Less than a month later, Peter Lawrie is rolling the ball beautifully again and just a stroke behind leader Ignacio Garrico at the halfway stage of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

“I putted lovely, I really did,” said Lawrie, who is tied for second on seven under par with Thomas Bjorn, Lorenzo Gagli, Mark Foster and Kenneth Ferrie. “I’m just trying to be more positive - read the greens better and if they go in, they go in. It’s more of a case of positivity than negativity.”

Lawrie had just 28 putts in a round that saw him follow an eagle three at the second with a bogey at the third and a birdie at the par-five ninth before mixing two birdies and a bogey on the back nine in a three under 69.

The real key to Lawrie’s game is not his putting but his driving accuracy and solid iron play, which is the reason why he’s won more than €4 million in prize money since he won the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award in 2003.

When he’s “on” with the putter, he contends and it appears to be only a matter of time before he adds to his solitary European Tour title, achieved in the 2008 Spanish Open in Seville.

The course at Gleneagles is long and tough, which is a two edged sword for the Irishman. A self-confessed “plodder” he stays out of trouble thanks to his accuracy but struggles to hit the ball close enough without forcing himself to take greater risks off the tee.

Paul McGinley jogs round the lake at the 16th. Picture Stuart Adams /www.golffile.ieCommentators have suggested that there are question marks over his ability as a finisher, given his frequent appearances on weekend leaderboards and his thin CV.

But given the manner of his win in the 2008 Spanish Open, where he closed with a 67 and then beat Garrido in a play-off, there is no big problem to solve here. 

Experience counts and Lawrie, now 37, appears ready to reap the fruits of years of hard work sooner rather than later.

As for the rest of the Irish, just two of the six strong challenge failed to make the halfway cut - Shane Lowry and Paul McGinley.

Damien McGrane had a disappointing day on the greens as he added a 73 to his opening 69 to share 28th on two under.

Simon Thornton (74) and Michael Hoey (71) made the level par cut on the mark but Lowry (73) missed out by one despite two birdies in his last three holes.

Paul McGinley, the recently reappointed Vivendi Seve Trophy skipper, was too short and too crooked off the tee as he struggled to an eight over 80 and a 10 over total.