Paul Lawrie admitted the recommendation he requires an operation to his left foot will not derail his goal of automatically qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team.

It was a year ago at the Wales Open that Lawrie indicated he has a ganglion cyst on the top of a foot and in the intervening period he's been on a prescription of painkillers with the foot needing constant icing.

But while the Aberdonian has been advised the only cure is an operation, Lawrie continues to the play through the pain barrier, and in the process continued to produce some of the best golf of his 26-year professional career.

Loading article content

Lawrie's currently ranked a career-best of 29th in the world rankings following a share of second place in last week's PGA Championship while he's second overall in the Ryder Cup points table and fifth on the Race to Dubai.

"When I play through the shot or I am walking on slopes, it is uncomfortable," he said. "When it's raining or damp or it's a hilly course like Finca where we played the matchplay, it was pretty bad there for the week. But I get used to it. I get up in the morning and take a couple of painkillers, so it's not a big issue.

"As [wife] Marian keeps saying to me: 'Man up, man up.' "But because of where it is there is a lot of nerves and stuff going on around there, so it's quite a complicated thing to get it right."

For a second time in four events Lawrie will play the opening two rounds of the Wales Open in the company of European Ryder Cup captain, Jose Maria Olazabal.

But unlike the Spanish Open, the Scot will be looking for a far better showing than missing the cut with scores of 78 and 75. It has been his only missed cut all season.

"Jose Maria and I played in Seville together and it is the only real poor two days I've had for a long time and it's amazing how it works," said Lawrie.

"But I always love playing with Jose Maria as he's like Seve. He's a great chipper of the ball and it's just nice to watch him play and he's also great company."

Lawrie will also tee-up on the 10th anniversary of his 2002 Wales Open success when he stormed to a five-shot success.

"Winning in Wales in 2002 came on the back of winning The Open in '99 and then the Dunhill in 2001," he added.

"So it was a nice run for me, and then it took nine years to win again from this event, which is quite a long time.

"But then I am one of these guys who looks forward to playing every week and, to be fair, I enjoy doing what I do and coming back to a tournament you've won before is great.

"My world ranking is now the joint best of my career and a decent week this week would take me up to 28th. That would be a big achievement. Hopefully we can kick on and go further.

"But, apart for the Spanish Open, I've been on a good run of form for about the past two years."

Lawrie is among 13 Scots in the field which includes fellow Aberdonian Richie Ramsay, who has spent considerable time since arriving in Wales under the eye of coach Ian Rae following his disappointing 80 at Walton Heath.

Also competing on the course where he led Europe to victory in 2010 will be Colin Montgomerie, who drove straight home to Scotland after missing out in Monday's US Open qualifier.

Playing in yesterday's Pro-Am was the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, who plays off a handicap of 21. He impressed Spanish pro, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano by splitting the fairway with his opening tee shot.

"I've never played with an Archbishop before so I will have to watch what I say," he said. Also in the group was the Welsh rugby legend, Gareth Davies.