Paul Lawrie wins Qatar Masters title after final-day 65

Paul Lawrie
Paul Lawrie will be back in the world top 50 for the first time in eight years

Scotland's Paul Lawrie shot a terrific final-day 65 to win the Qatar Masters and continue his fine start to 2012.

The 1999 Open winner finished four strokes clear of Australia's Jason Day and Sweden's Peter Hanson.

The Doha tournament was reduced to 54 holes after strong winds allowed only three hours of play on Friday.

Lawrie, who carded 69 and 67 in the first two rounds, also earned top 10 finishes in last month's Volvo Golf Champions and Abu Dhabi Championship.

The 43-year-old had never previously secured three successive European Tour top 10 finishes in a season and his blistering run of form will lift him into the world top 50 for the first time in eight years when the rankings are next updated.

If he maintains his top 50 place until the end of the month he will earn his first start in April's US Masters at Augusta since 2003.

Lawrie, who held a one-shot overnight lead heading into Sunday's final round, said: "I played nicely. I don't think I can play much better than that.

"I've been playing pretty good for a long, long time but it's nice to come out one ahead and shoot seven under.

"All sorts go through your mind when you've got the chance to win a tournament.

"Things race through your mind on the back nine but you've got to put them to the back of your mind and take things one shot at a time."

He began his third round with a 10-foot birdie putt but parred the next four as Sergio Garcia's four birdies in eight holes lifted him into sole possession of second spot on eight under.

Lawrie incurred a one-shot penalty in Saturday's second round when he dropped his ball on his marker and it looked like the error could prove costly as Garcia closed the gap.

But the Scot eased those worries by chipping in for eagle on the ninth to reopen his two-shot lead.

Lawrie had to settle for par on the long 10th after driving into sand, but pitched to five feet from the rough on the 11th to move three ahead.

Garcia was joined in second place when Day began the back nine with three successive birdies to reach nine under.

The Aussie also holed four birdies in a row on the back nine but Lawrie moved within sight of victory after making a 15-footer on the 14th.

And further birdies on the 16th and 17th sealed his second Qatar Masters title.