DOHA // Paul Lawrie stroked a fluent 65 to win the Qatar Masters for the second time with a four-shot win over Jason Day and Peter Hanson at the Doha Golf Club yesterday.
The Scotsman produced a bogey-free third round in the truncated tournament as the chasing pack made crucial errors to win his seventh European Tour title with an aggregate of 15-under par 201 for 54 holes.
"I don't think I can play much better than that," Lawrie said. "I've been playing well for a long, long time, but it's just nice to come out one ahead and shoot seven under."
Lawrie's first win in Qatar came in 1999, the same year he claimed the British Open at Carnoustie.
Holding a one-shot lead after the second round on Saturday, Lawrie struck a brilliant eagle on the 639-yard par-five ninth hole, giving him a two shot cushion over Day, who began with four consecutive birdies but dropped two shots by the time he finished his first nine holes.
Lawrie calmly went along picking up shots and by the time he birdied the 16th and 17th holes he had the Mother of Pearl trophy firmly in his grip.
The 43-year-old Scot then made par on the 18th to complete the formalities.
Day was on fire on the back nine too, picking up four successive birdies from the 10th to 13, but could only par the next four to lose steam.
He had an eagle chance on the 18th but missed by a whisker, the birdie giving him an aggregate of 11-under par.
Hanson needed an eagle on the final hole to overtake Day, but finished with a birdie for a second-place tie with the Australian. John Daly finished two shots down for fourth.
The win ensures Lawrie a place in the 64-man World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play in Arizona later this month and the 24-man Volvo World Match Play in Spain in May.
He is also on course to win a second Ryder Cup cap 13 years after his first, and if manages stay in the top 50 for another seven weeks he will make a return to The Masters in April after an eight-year gap.
Lawrie added: "When you've got a chance to win a tournament you don't sleep as well the night before and things go racing through your mind.
"You've got to get back to basics and I did that. I hit some nice shots coming in."
Lawrie was reminded that his 1999 victory in Qatar was followed five months later by lifting The Claret Jug at Carnoustie. "Now wouldn't that be nice to get that again?"he said.