By his own admission, Paul Lawrie’s confidence in his golf is so brittle the Aberdonian should come with a “handle with care” label stuck on his cap.

“I’m a wee bit fragile with my golf, which is the first time ever,” conceded Lawrie, as he prepares for his first outing on the main European Tour since March in this week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance.

The heebie-jeebies are perhaps understandable. A long-standing injury, which required surgery and at one point had him pondering retirement, has taken a while to recover from.

Having reached his half-century on New Year’s day, Lawrie embarked on a new chapter of his golfing story on the Seniors Tour with competition on both sides of the Atlantic, but the decorated Scot has not quite hit the ground running.

His old mucker, Colin Montgomerie, did say that life among the golden oldies would be “bloody tough”, and Lawrie is finding that out for himself.

Given how long he was out of action for, it’s not surprising that Lawrie has struggled to find his form. He’s not had much good fortune either and was disqualified from an over-50s event recently for hitting the wrong ball. It was, you could say, a costly senior moment.

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Lawrie has a robust schedule coming up. After this week’s Scottish Open, he will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his 1999 Open win by competing at Portrush before heading to Lytham for the Senior Open.

It’s an exciting, if slightly anxious, time. “It’s always nice to play in the Scottish Open and I think I’ve only missed it once since I got on tour,” said the two-time Ryder Cup player.

“But I’m a little apprehensive playing in a tournament of this size, then the Open right after, having not played a lot of golf and not playing very well.

“The golf that I have played has not been very good. I’m finding it quite difficult to get back into it. My golf is just not the best.

“It’s not horrendous. I’ve just found it quite frustrating when you’ve been able to do something to a good level before then, all of a sudden, that level is 71 and 77 as opposed to 65 and 71.

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“The surgeon said it would take a year for me to get back to feeling properly tournament sharp and I’m quite a long way off a year yet.

“There’s not much you can do. Your level is your level, you just have to do your best.”

Lawrie was in a carefree mood yesterday during his challenge match with European Solheim Cup captain, Catriona Matthew, at his own golf facility in Aberdeen.

His mood, however, darkened when another challenge match cropped up in conversation. As part of the hoo-ha and build-up to the Scottish Open, the Hero Challenge takes place at the Renaissance tonight; a ticketed, par-three shoot-out involving some invited star names but no Scots.

“There may well have been Scottish players asked to play and they couldn’t make it but my point was if that was in England it wouldn’t happen, you wouldn’t have a field like that without a home player in it,” he said.

“When you’re asking Scottish people to turn up to support this event, a Scottish player in the field will make more people want to go to it.

“As someone who has tried to support Scottish golf for as long as I have, to not have a Scottish player in that field is extremely poor.

“What about Catriona playing in it? You could have had so many different Scottish people playing in that.”