Lawrie rediscovers his driving ambition
 Gregory Bourdy. Picture: Getty Images

Gregory Bourdy. Picture: Getty Images

Peter Lawrie insists his driving accuracy (and his confidence) is coming back after he opened with a round in the 60s for the fourth time in his last six starts in the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity.

Now it remains to be seen if he can take advantage of it and bank the juicy cheque he needs to move up the Race to Dubai and win back his card.

“Delighted to be honest with you,” Lawrie told European Tour Radio after a four under 68 left him tied for sixth, just three strokes behind leader Gregory Bourdy. 

“Four birdies, no bogeys. When you play a golf course like this with no bogeys you have done well. There’s lots of trouble out there.”

The key to Lawrie’s good humour is not simply that he’s getting lots of invitations but that he’s hitting the ball off the tee without fear for the first time in two years.

“The driver is coming back,” he said. “I was fifth in driving accuracy (in Sweden) last week and that’s the first time I’ve been in the Top 10 in two years so the signs are good. I am coming back and starting to play nicely.”

The Dubliner, 40, missed just three of 14 fairways yesterday and as a result he missed just three greens.

“It’s confidence really. I have worked really hard with Jamie Gough and got my swing really efficient now and I can hit at the ball. My phrase is, ‘hit it like I hate it,’ and it’s working well.”

Asked if he was “:taking out frustrations”, he smiled and said: “Absolutely. This is what tournament life brings, lots of frustration, but I am starting to see good signs so hopefully I can keep it up.”

Bourdy’s magnificent seven under par 65 saw the Frenchman sail into the first round lead, two strokes clear of Spain’s Carlos Del Moral, the English duo of Rob Dinwiddie and Chris Wood, and Germany’s Max Kieffer who all carded first round scores of five under.

Star draw Bernd Wiesberger crashed to a seven over 79, insisting: “I haven’t played that catastrophically for at least ten years.”

It was a mixed day for the rest of the Irish with Simon Thornton’s two under 70 for a share of 22nd the only other sub-par round.

Michael Hoey (73), Kevin Phelan (74), Gareth Maybin (76) and Damien McGrane (77) all have work to do to make the cut.

Complete Round One Scores:

65 G Bourdy (Fra);

67 C Wood (Eng), R Dinwiddie (Eng), C Del Moral (Esp), M Kieffer (Ger);

68 G Stal (Fra), D Drysdale (Sco), Peter Lawrie (Irl), J Edfors (Swe), R Evans (Eng), C Bouniol (Fra);

69 J Quesne (Fra), J Singh (Ind), R Cabrera-Bello (Esp), A Otaegui (Esp), M Bremner (RSA), C Shinkwin (Eng), J Legarrea (Esp), M Korhonen (Fin), M Fitzpatrick (Eng), L Slattery (Eng);

70 S Henry (Sco), K Broberg (Swe), J Carlsson (Swe), F Fritsch (Ger), J Walters (RSA), N Colsaerts (Bel), Simon Thornton (Irl), B Ritthammer (Ger), J Scrivener (Aus), M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra), P Oriol (Esp), S Manley (Wal), J Knutzon (USA), S Straka (am) (Aut);

71 S Hansen (Den), A Pavlov (Rus), V Riu (Fra), A Ahokas (Fin), J Hahn (USA), R Rock (Eng), D Horsey (Eng), D Gaunt (Eng), A Wall (Eng), R Bland (Eng), D Woltman (USA), D Coupland (Eng), C Paisley (Eng), P Edberg (Swe), A McArthur (Sco), F Praegant (Aut), L Jensen (Den), A Bernadet (Fra);

72 M Jonzon (Swe), R Karlberg (Swe), S Jamieson (Sco), S Brown (Eng), C Lloyd (Eng), R Santos (Por), T Pilkadaris (Aus), M Ovesen (Den), E De La Riva (Esp), R Gonzalez (Arg), R McEvoy (Eng), M Schneider (Ger), J Lara (Esp), A Pavan (Ita), S Fallon (Eng), C Pigem (Esp), M Lundberg (Swe), R Paratore (Ita), L Tintera (Cze), 

73 K Ferrie (Eng), J Campillo (Esp), A Velasco (Esp), J Lagergren (Swe), S Griffiths (Eng), W Harrold (Eng), M Ford (Eng), A Hortal (Esp), M Lampert (Ger), P Price (Wal), Michael Hoey (Nir), J Lando Casanova (Fra), M Crespi (Ita), R Finch (Eng), T Hatton (Eng), A Tadini (Ita), B Hebert (Fra), J Kruger (RSA), L Nemecz (Aut), R Kakko (Fin), A Marshall (Eng), J Garcia Pinto (Esp), S Khan (Eng);

74 Kevin Phelan (Irl), D Im (USA), J Roos (RSA), G Storm (Eng), J Maurer (Aut), T Levet (Fra), R Ramsay (Sco), J Huldahl (Den), P Maddy (Eng), B Reiter (Aut), S Hutsby (Eng), S Wakefield (Eng), M Nixon (Eng), S Kim (USA), M Habeler (am) (Aut), M Ludwig (am) (Aut);

75 D Brooks (Eng), M Tullo (Chi), D Dixon (Eng), R Wattel (Fra), I Garrido (Esp), R Coles (Eng), A Korinek (Cze), E Espana (Fra), M Manassero (Ita), L De Jager (RSA), T Murray (Eng), C Pelzmann (am) (Aut);

76 J Blaauw (RSA), B Evans (Eng), P Archer (Eng), Gareth Maybin (Nir), S Webster (Eng);

77 Damien McGrane (Irl), B Weilguni (Aut), J Barnes (Eng), C Doak (Sco), A Klescz (am) (Aut);

78 D Stewart (Sco), T Baltl (am) (Aut);

79 B Wiesberger (Aut), S Soderberg (Swe), B Virto Astudillo (Esp), P Dedek (am) (Cze);

80 N Geyger (Chi), R Gruber (Aut);

81 P Tate (Eng), F Young (Eng), Z Bauchou (am) (USA);

85 L Astl (Aut);

RTD ** O Fisher (Eng), J Palmer (Eng)