Lawrie relishing World Match Play Championship

Paul Lawrie
Lawrie won the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie

Paul Lawrie is ready to take on some of the best players in the world at the Volvo World Match Play Championship.

Lawrie has appeared in the event just once previously, in 1999, and is excited at the prospect of competing at the Finca Cortesin course in Spain.

"I'm looking forward to it, I've not played it for a long time," he said.

The Scot is in confident mood, having secured his first tournament victory for nine years by winning the Andalucia Open in March.

But he faces a stiff test to progress beyond the initial stages.

In the round-robin event of eight groups of three, Lawrie will play Francesco Molinari and Ian Poulter on Friday from which the top two players will advance.

"It's one of those tournaments you want to play in, you want to make sure you are in the big events", said the 1999 British Open winner.

"Someone said there are eight of the world's top 10 playing, the best field they've ever had so great, I can't wait.

"You want to play in these [events] if you can; huge world-ranking points, huge amount of prize money. With the world-ranking points, a decent week and you can jump up."

Lawrie cast his mind back to his only prior appearance at the event, and says he enjoys the match play format.

"I've only played once, in 1999, when I played lovely golf and got beaten by Craig Parry," said the Aberdonian.

"I think I was eight-under for the day and got beat 4 and 3, so that can happen in match play.

"I've only played once so it will be nice to play again. My record's pretty good in match play, in the Ryder Cup and the Seve Trophy. I've won a few points in my time.

"That kind of format is always good, we don't play it often enough. You've got everyone there for two days and then you play knockout."

Lawrie recalls watching some of the greats of the game playing the tournament in years gone by.

"I used to watch it when I was a kid, when Seve [Ballesteros], [Arnold] Palmer and these boys were playing and it's one of these events that you always want to play in," he added.

"Seve chipping in to take it down to extra holes against Palmer. He chipped in from the right-hand rough for an eagle three which was just Seve all over. He then beat him in the play-off, so that's the one I remember."