Paul Lawrie looking to next generation

By Phil GoodladBBC Sport Nation
Paul Lawrie
Lawrie is hoping the Scottish Boys Championship will produce stars for the future

Paul Lawrie insists his decision to personally sponsor the Scottish Boys Championship was fuelled by a desire to "give something back" to golf.

The 1999 Open Champion is supporting the event which sees the top 256 young golfers across the country line up in the middle of April.

"It's the biggest event in the country for under 18s," Lawrie told BBC Scotland.

"I was blown away by how big it is when I went to watch my son play in Dunbar last year."

Lawrie's involvement allows him to impart 25 years of golfing experience to the next generation and the 42-year-old Aberdonian has high hopes for the future of the game.

"I would like to think we would see a lot better players coming through than Paul Lawrie," he said.

"I've been lucky enough to have a very good career but if we can try and help people to be better than me - that's what we want to do."

Lawrie also believes that playing golf at a young age should be about more than just winning, but also about promoting a healthy lifestyle and take some pride in participating in sporting activities.

"What we're trying to do is get kids involved in sport," said Lawrie.

"We want them to play football or golf or whatever and enjoy it. That's what it's all about."

The Scottish Golf Union runs the event and chairman Douglas Connon is delighted to have the backing of the last Scot to win a major.

"Paul Lawrie is a superb ambassador for Scottish Golf," said Cannon. "How he conducts himself on and off the course makes him a great role model for young sportsmen and women."

This year's Scottish Boys Championship is being held at Murcar in Aberdeen and is open to players aged under 18 with a handicap limit of 6.4.

In the past, Andrew Coltart and Steven O' Hara won the event before progressing onto the European Tour.

More recently Michael Stewart clinched the title before helping GB&I win back the Walker Cup last autumn.

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