Watching golf on television has never really been Paul Lawrie’s thing – until the last couple of weeks, that is.
The former Open champion has been hooked by the Tiger Woods comeback story, with Rory McIlroy’s return to form at the Arnold Palmer Invitational adding to the excitement.
And with Phil Mickelson back to his best as well, it will make for an unmissable Masters next month.
“I thought for about an hour on Sunday there, that’s as good as it gets,” said Lawrie. “Tiger was up there and Rory was up there and it was just a bit disappointing when Tiger hit it OB at 16 as the whole thing went a bit flat
“But all credit to Rory for the way he played in the final round. Next to Tiger, Rory for me is the next person that moves the needle for me, there’s no question about that. When he’s playing like that and is in that mood, he takes some stopping.
“If Tiger stays healthy and Rory keeps playing the way he did at the weekend, I think it’s going to be phenomenal at The Masters. I can’t wait for it already.
“I honestly don’t sit and watch a lot of golf on the TV but I’ve watched the last two PGA Tour events because Tiger has been in contention in both – and both Tiger and Rory at Bay Hill.”
On the Woods revival, Lawrie observed: “I think it is remarkable how quickly he’s got himself straight back into things. And it’s his swing speed and ball speed that is really amazing as it’s almost quicker than it was before.
“It’s great to have him back. The TV ratings are through the roof.”
And if Woods claimed another green jacket?
“He’s 42 so it’s not a Tom Watson at Turnberry,” said Lawrie. “If that had happened, it would have been the biggest sporting story of all time. But it would still be pretty amazing if he did pull it off at Augusta.
“It’s remarkable what he’s done so far and even I can’t understand how he is able to go from how he was physically, to hitting it flat out as quickly as he has.
“I’ve watched a lot of him the last couple of weeks and I will tell you what, he has been very impressive.”
Along with Carly Booth, Lawrie is an ambassador for the new European Team Championships at Gleneagles this summer.
He said: “First of all, I was delighted to be asked to become an ambassador for this event. I’m always someone who likes to give back so I am chuffed to be able to front up an event that is pretty cool and unique and I am looking forward to it.
“The format is a little different to the regular 72-hole stroke-play that we play week in, week out, which is what we tried to do with the Paul Lawrie Match Play, and it’s brilliant that it is on terrestrial television.
“The venue is also important. Gleneagles is one of our iconic venues so the whole thing is geared up to be a pretty special week. Everyone remembers how good the Ryder Cup was here, including me as I came along on the Saturday as a spectator.
“It was just one of those events that people will never forget and I think it’s important that keep events like that at a venue like Gleneagles so to bring this event here is really good.
“As soon as I am back out on Tour, I will be speaking to players. Obviously, you are going to struggle to get anyone playing in the US PGA and you can understand that. It is hard going up against a major. But one of my roles is to speak to players to see if they fancy it and get a few of them to come along and support it.”