European Tour: Paul Lawrie launches new event in Aberdeen

Paul Lawrie
Paul Lawrie has already backed local grassroots golf through his own foundation

Former Open champion Paul Lawrie is to host a new £800,000 matchplay tournament in Aberdeen as part of the European Tour's Race to Dubai.

The inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play will take place at Murcar Links Golf Club, on the city's outskirts, from 30 July-2 August 2015.

It aims to attract 64 of the Race to Dubai's leading players.

Lawrie said: "It's fantastic to be bringing another European Tour event to my home town of Aberdeen."

The 45-year-old's career high came in strokeplay, when winning the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie, but he has an affinity with matchplay after representing Europe twice in the Ryder Cup and finishing third in the Volvo World Match Play two years ago.

European Tour chief executive George O'Grady
"Paul Lawrie has been a strong and loyal supporter of the European Tour over the past three decades, as well as one of our finest players and ambassadors."

"Matchplay is a format that we don't get to play too often on Tour and so it's an exciting opportunity for an elite knockout tournament to come to Scotland," said Lawrie.

The Race to Dubai is a season-long competition spanning 49 tournaments in 26 countries around the world as part of the European Tour.

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club hosted the Scottish Open in July, but Murcar will be the venue for an event at the top level of European golf for the first time.

Lawrie's own management company, 4 Sports & Entertainment, will be promoting the event, but he said the involvement of Aberdeen-based oil drilling equipment company Saltire Energy, one of his own personal sponsors, was crucial in establishing the knockout tournament.

European Tour chief executive George O'Grady was hopeful that the event can build on the enthusiasm shown for golf by the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

"The Ryder Cup in Scotland was a huge success and demonstrated the appetite that Scottish golf fans have for match play golf."

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