With his name now emblazoned on a bottle of the national drink, there’s not much left for Paul Lawrie to achieve in honour of his home country, except for one remaining prize unclaimed.
Getting his name on a signature blend of Loch Lomond whisky is another native landmark for the winner of the 1999 Open Championship, the 2001 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and 2014 Johnnie Walker Championship, all secured on home soil.
The only thing that’s missing is the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open title for a Grand Slam, and the 49-year-old Aberdonian is still hoping to get there as this year’s edition at Gullane approaches.
“It’s always an event you want to win,” he said. “I have an Open but the Scottish would make it the ultimate collection, I think.
“I’ve only had a couple of top 10s, one at Loch Lomond. It’s weird. It’s an event that should suit me, whether at Loch Lomond or on a links which is my favourite format.
“There is always a lot of stuff going on those two weeks for Scottish players. That’s no excuse, you should still be able to compete.”
But Lawrie is acutely aware that the ageing process – he’s had a foot problem for several years that has been getting treatment from a specialist in Germany – is catching up fast and time is of the essence.
“Where I am at the moment with my game is not a secret, I’m finding it really tough now to compete at that top level.
“I’m 49, I’ve played 610 events and hit 1000 balls a day five days a week for 30 years – there’s a chance you’re going to be struggling.
“I saw Anthony Wall’s retirement statement when he said that his body can’t do what his mind wants it to do. You’re up against much younger and fitter guys.
“My grand plan never really came to fruition; I was trying to get to 42 or 43, have a couple of years break, then get back into it for the Seniors. But stupidly I got to 43 and won three times in 18 months the break never happened.
“Now I need to keep playing so that I am still active when I get to 50. Whether courses are short or not, these guys (in the seniors) can still play.
“Some of scoring is incredible and Bernard Langer is still winning tournaments at 61. If you are not ready, you are not going to do that well so I need to keep playing.”
But with age comes a realisation that there’s sometimes a need to stop and enjoy your successes, a lesson Lawrie learned from none other than Sir Alex Ferguson.
“For someone who has been brought up and played golf in Scotland a whisky association is something I always wanted,” he said. “It was a different scene when I won the Open and I didn’t drink a lot.
“I remember Sir Alex saying to me years later that we must have had a hell of a party after I won the Open but I said we hadn’t. He said that was a massive mistake because you should always celebrate success.
“I read it first that he’d obviously had a serious problem with his illness on Twitter.
“Man, I just couldn’t believe it but I think everyone was the same. Whether you’re a fan of Aberdeen or Man United or not, he’s a legend. Let’s hope he pulls through it.”
Loch Lomond Whiskies signed a five-year deal to be official whisky of The Open earlier this year, and Lawrie has joined Colin Montgomerie as an ambassador for the brand.
The Paul Lawrie Autograph Edition will go on sale prior to this year’s Open at Carnoustie, scene of Paul’s famous victory in 1999.