The second Paul Lawrie Match Play takes place at Archerfield Links in North Berwick as the tour moves away from its usual stroke play format
Wood and Fitzpatrick Headline Paul Lawrie Match Play
The European Tour returns to Scotland this week for the Paul Lawrie Match Play on the Fidra course at Archerfield Links in North Berwick.
The inaugural tournament in 2015 won by Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who beat Robert Karlsson 1 up in the final.
The Thai is not in the field this year so we will see a new champion crowned.
Both are in the frame for the European Ryder Cup team and a strong performance here, in a matchplay format, will all-but secure them a seat on the plane to Hazeltine.
Scottish Open winner Alex Noren is also in the field.
There are plenty of chances for a home win, with Paul Lawrie, Marc Warren, Richie Ramsay, Stephen Gallacher, Craig Lee, Scott Jamieson and David Drysdale all competing.
The course at Archerfield will make for beautiful viewing as it winds its way through pine trees and then into more linksy ground.
Tickets for this year’s event are priced as low as £15 and they will also gain you entry to the Scottish Senior Open.
Venue: Fidra Course, Archerfield Links, North Berwick, Scotland
Date: Aug 4 – Aug 7
Course stats: Par 72, 6978 yards
Defending Champion: Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Thursday: Sky Sports 4 HD from 12.30pm
Friday: Sky Sports 4 HD from 12pm
Saturday: Sky Sports 4 HD from 11pm
Sunday: Sky Sports 4 HD from 10.30am
Straight-up knockout match play. 64 men, no groupings.
Day 1: First round
Day 2: Second round
Day 3: Last 16 and quarter finals
Day 4: Semi finals and final + consolation match
Chris Wood – At 25 in the world and having won the European Tour’s flagship event at Wentworth in May, Wood is the favourite. The Bristolian reached the quarter finals last year, going out to David Howell.
Matt Fitzpatrick – The Nordea Masters winner is the second-highest ranked player in the field. Fitzpatrick won the US Amateur 2013 in a similar matchplay format so he has to be considered one of the favourites this week.
David Howell – Howell finished 3rd last year, beating Marc Warren in the consolation match after going out to Robert Karlsson on the 20th hole in the semi-final. Having caught up with him after the Open, he’s very positive about where his game is at right now.
Key Hole: 12th. It’s a short risk and reward par 4 where they may move the tee up to encourage people to go for the green. However, if you miss the green there are sandy waste areas all around and long grass so it has do-or-die potential. It also comes at a key part of the round where a player could get the match back to all square or see his opponent drift away from him.