Lawrie proves it pays to keep on going
"There's always next week," is the phrase that provides first refuge to the gutted golfer.
When hopes and dreams have been shattered, sometimes by calamitous self destruction, often all that is left is the belief that wrongs can be righted seven days hence.
It is usually said in hope rather than expectation and in recognition of the need to swiftly climb aboard the horse again to allow mental scars to heal rather than fester.
Lawrie won his in Qatar after missing out in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Getty
The previous week Stanley had blown a three-shot lead by taking eight at the 72nd hole before losing a play-off to Brandt Snedeker at Torrey Pines. Lawrie also let slip a potentially winning position in Abu Dhabi.
"I think the biggest challenge was seeing if I could put last week behind me," Stanley said after his closing 65 gave him a one-stroke victory. "I think I did."
The 24-year-old American had been the talk of golf in the US after his failure to win in California and was carrying substantial baggage when he teed it up in Arizona. It was some response, especially in a country that loves a healthy dose of redemption.
Lawrie didn't shoulder the same external burden, but inside he would have been thirsting for the victory his recent form had suggested was just around the corner.
In the final round in Abu Dhabi most attention was on eventual champion Robert Rock and the men he beat down the stretch, namely Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. But I tweeted at the time that an inward half of 34 might be enough to put Lawrie firmly in contention.
Covering the back nine in two under should have been well within his compass (it would have put him in a play-off with Rock as it turned out) yet he took 38 blows and Lawrie slipped down to a share of eighth place.
It must have been bitterly disappointing because at the end of last season he had come desperately close to landing the Dubai World Championship where a level par back nine left him two strokes behind champion Alvaro Quiros.
The frustration of those two near misses is now firmly behind the Scot, who turned 43 on New Year's Day. "You kind of want it a wee bit when you get a little bit older and you kind of lose a little bit of focus, but I actually feel the opposite," Lawrie said.
The most impressive thing about Lawrie is his enduring appetite for the game. He has been around the golfing block year in and year out; his ambition undimmed despite having claimed the game's greatest prize - the Open Championship back in 1999.
Throughout he has stayed loyal to his Aberdonian roots rather than setting up home in a more convenient location for the endless international travel that defines the career of a touring pro.
"I probably work harder now than I have ever done," Lawrie told BBC Sport during the Abu Dhabi tournament.
He is inspired by his two sons, Craig, 16, and Michael, 13, who are making marks on the Scottish junior scene. "I was never lazy, but I'm probably out there practicing more than ever, especially with the boys coming up.
"They are coming through and I'm playing more golf at home than I ever did, which I think is helping me."
Lawrie's victory in last year's Open de Andalucia ended a nine-year drought and this win has taken him back into the world's top 50.
His Open triumph gave him a five-year exemption to play the Masters and it expired after his last appearance at Augusta in 2004.
Now the world number 47 has Georgia back on his mind because if he can stay in the top 50 between now and the beginning of April, he will be eligible for the year's first major.
"I feel I'm getting better. I feel my ball striking has improved immensely since I turned 40. And I'm hitting it a lot further than I probably ever hit it going by the stats," he said.
Already he can look forward to the WGC events in Tucson and Doral and will relish the opportunities those events provide for boosting his Ryder Cup qualification hopes.
Lawrie was not found wanting in his one appearance for Europe back in 1999, but sensibly refuses to be carried away with the thought of earning a place in Jose Maria Olazabal's team.
"I keep saying to you guys that the Ryder Cup is a long way off, and there's a lot of golf to be played from now until then. I'm not getting ahead of myself. I'm obviously playing very well, but who knows what's going to happen?"
It is a voice of reason that takes account of golf's extraordinary unpredictability. Lawrie's current renaissance was hard to foresee through much of last year when there were no top-10 finishes between June and December.
And Stateside there is Stanley's redemptive story, made all the more remarkable by the fact that Spencer Levin had led by six strokes heading into the final round.
"My family still loves me; my friends are still my friends; I'm still going to eat dinner tonight," Levin observed as he sought solace at his own capitulation. He will also do well to remember that next week will come soon enough as well.