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Paul Lawrie drives 18 at Old Course, to celebrate eagle with ‘wee drinky poo’


Paul Lawrie is 53 years old, but the 1999 Open Championship winner proved Thursday that he still has some pop.

While Lawrie’s first round of this 150th Open, an opening 2-over 74, was nothing special, the same cannot be said of how he capped it. Lawrie pounded his yellow golf ball 341 yards and onto the putting surface at the 356-yard, par-4 18th hole and then holed the 5-foot putt for eagle.

“It just shows you nowadays, Webb [Simpson] and Min Woo [Lee, his playing competitors] were in between 3-wood and long iron, whereas for me it’s driver,” Lawrie said. “To get anywhere near the pin, I have to hit driver. These boys were chip 3-woods out there. The game, it’s crazy how it’s going. For me it’s flat-out driver, and it needs a bounce to get up there, which it did. I hit a lovely shot.”

Lawrie hasn’t played an Open since 2019, but he has made five of his past eight cuts in the championship, including in 2015 at St. Andrews, where he tied for 40th. After finishing his interview obligations on Thursday, Lawrie planned to celebrate in the clubhouse with lunch and likely a well-earned pint.

“I can pop in for a wee drinky poo later on,” he said. “It will be quite nice.”