PAUL LAWRIE knows a thing or two about role models. He’s been inspiring Scottish golfers for years, after all.

Whether it was his 1999 Open win, his rousing career renaissance which swept him back into the Ryder Cup fold in 2012 or his unwavering support at grassroots through his Foundation, the game here is lucky to have him. In fact, we could do with more like him, particularly in this relatively fallow period in the professional game when there are no Scottish male golfers in the top 100 of the world rankings and just one, Catriona Matthew, in the leading 200 of the women's standings.

Fortunes can change quickly in this game but, for the time being, there’s not much to stir the sense on the home front. With the exception of Sandy Lyle, in the 30th anniversary year of his Masters win, next week’s showpiece at Augusta will be a Scots-free zone. When you’re on the outside peering in, there’s plenty of time to mull over the state of affairs.

“We haven't got anyone for the players to chase after,” said Lawrie, who reached a career-high of 26th on the global order. “Take Sandy when he was winning majors or Monty when he was doing well. Myself and Stevie Gallacher wanted to do what they were doing and I think that sort of thing spurs people on.

"We haven't got anyone out there at the minute acting as a role model. You really need five or six in that position, but even one would be good.

"Look at what happened in Irish golf when Padraig Harrington won his three majors in quick succession? It had a massive effect on other Irish players.

"Stevie Gallacher said he pretty much got into the Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles due to me having been in the Medinah team two years earlier. If the roles had been reversed, I would have felt exactly the same.

"We just don't have that at the minute and I think that is really killing us. It’s not for the lack of trying, though, that they aren’t higher up the rankings.

"They are as disappointed as everyone else that they are not in the top 100. I feel all the players out there at the moment are capable of being in the top 100 and a few really should be in the top 50.

"At the moment, though, that's not the case and it's sad as we want players up there doing well.”