Paul Lawrie really wants to be a part of the European Ryder Cup team

Jonathan Wall
May 3, 2012

Paul Lawrie's U.S. Open record is, shall we say, less than stellar. In the past 20 years the Scotsman has missed the cut in three of his four starts, his best finish a T30 in 2002.

Clearly, the guy doesn't enjoy the major. But after seven years of not having the credentials to qualify for the tournament, Lawrie's wins in 2011 and 2012 were enough to give him a spot in the field at Olympic Club.

First U.S. Open start in eight years. Despite his record, you'd think the would guy be over the moon to tee it up in California, right? Wrong. You see, Lawrie could care less about being in the field of the second major of the year.

Instead, he'd rather tee it up in Germany at the BMW International, a mid-tier European Tour event. U.S. Open .... BMW International. I'm going to go out on a limb and say one is a little higher profile than the other.

So you're probably wondering what the heck Lawrie's doing. Why in the world would he skip a major for a cupcake tournament? Try Ryder Cup points. Yep, Ryder Cup points.

"My record in the U.S. Open is not good and I understand that it is a major, but I feel I have more chance of playing well at the BMW International Open the week after," Lawrie said Wednesday at the Spanish Open.

"I know people are going to be surprised ... but I stand more chance of earning Ryder Cup points at the BMW in Cologne than in the U.S. Open in California."

On paper the decision to skip the U.S. Open makes sense ... if Lawrie was trying to make enough money to maintain his card. But at the age of 43, it's not like missing the cut in a major is going to be the end of his career.

Currently fifth on the European Ryder Cup points list and ninth on the World list, he has a legitimate chance to make the team. However, there's something to be said for passing on a chance to go head-to-head with the best for a chance to play against a field of no-namers just so you can make the cut and tack on a couple more points.

I don't know about you, but I have a problem with this. The Ryder Cup doesn't discriminate; you can qualify for the most prestigious team tournament in golf by playing in whatever events you want. But knowing how hard guys work to represent their country every two years, you want the best and brightest on your team.

Lawrie has been playing at a high level for the past couple years, so you can't blame the guy for wanting to make what could be his last Ryder Cup team. But the manner in which he's doing it is all wrong. If anything, it makes you look like ... well, it makes you look like you're too scared to fail.

Plenty of guys would seize an opportunity to play in a U.S. Open, and use the lack of success as motivation. Not Paul Lawrie. He's content playing in Germany because he thinks he stands a better chance of picking up a couple more points. What a joke.

(h/t CBS's Eye on Golf)