Lawrie chips back into big time

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Paul Lawrie is back in the world’s top 50 for the first time since 2003 after a flawless performance gave him a second Qatar Masters title today.

The 43-year-old Scot, known as “Chippy” all his career, chipped in twice during a brilliant closing 65 and beat Australian Jason Day and Swede Peter Hanson by four. Less than a year ago the 1999 Open champion was down at 272nd in the rankings. Now he is part of golf’s elite group again. The victory guarantees him a place in the 64-man Accenture world match play championship in Arizona later this month and the 24-man Volvo World Match Play in Spain in May.

He is on course to win a second Ryder Cup cap 13 years after his first and if he can stay in the top 50 for another seven weeks he will make a return to The Masters at Augusta in April after an eight-year gap.

This was the Aberdeen player’s first success since his long-time coach Adam Hunter died of leukaemia in October.

Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, third and fourth on the rankings, finished 12th and ninth respectively, Westwood sharing his position with Jose Maria Olazabal on the Ryder Cup captain’s 46th birthday. Worksop’s Mark Foster tied for 35th at three under.

Sheffield’s Danny Willett missed the cut after shooting a 78 in Saturday’s delayed second round.