Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie to end European Tour career

London (AFP) –

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Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie will call time on his European Tour career after competing in his 620th event in this week's Scottish Open.

Lawrie, who lifted the Claret Jug at Carnoustie in 1999 and played at the 2012 Ryder Cup, dubbed the "Miracle at Medinah", has been hampered by a back injury in recent years and will focus his attention on the senior circuit.

The 51-year-old, who has seven other wins on the European Tour, is exempt for the Open until the age of 60 but has yet to decide whether he will continue to compete.

"There are a lot of factors behind the decision, the main one being that I don't feel I can be competitive week in, week out at this level," Lawrie said after an opening two-over-par 73 at the Renaissance Club on Thursday.

"My back is not very good, I've got a herniated disc and I struggle to practise enough. I'm not able to hit the amount of balls I need. I'm not particularly talented so I lose my game quite quickly."

He added: "To have played 620 events is not a bad innings considering I turned pro (in 1986) with a five handicap and didn't think I'd play any. I haven't been a great player, but I've been decent and that's all you can ask for."