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June 29, 2012

Lawrie And Harrington Hit Form With Wilson Staff


-   Major champions' strong iron play boosts Ryder Cup chances   -

A resurgence of good form with their Wilson Staff irons has seen Major champions Paul Lawrie and Padraig Harrington both boost their chances of playing in another Ryder Cup in September at Medinah, Chicago.

Lawrie - who has enjoyed a renaissance since returning to the brand in 2010 - used Wilson Staff irons to score 3½ points out of a possible 5 in the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline, not long after he became the first European to win The Open Championship in seven years at Carnoustie. He remains the last Scotsman to win a Major.

Since re-joining the record Major-winning iron manufacturer, the popular Aberdonian has put his Wilson Staff FG Tour irons to excellent use, winning last year's Open de Andalucia, capturing his second Qatar Masters in February and recently finishing second at the flagship BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. These strong performances have taken him to a career best of 29th in the world and within touching distance of a second Ryder Cup.

On his chances of making the European team, Lawrie agrees with Ryder Cup captain José María Olazábal, who said he was almost there. "If my form continues then I don't see why not. There are still nine counting events, but you're there when the teamsheet comes out on the Monday."

Three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington has played his way back onto the big stage following a switch to the new Wilson Staff FG Tour V2 irons, with impressive showings at the Masters and US Open where he finished eighth and fourth respectively.

The 40-year-old - who signed with Wilson Staff back in 1998 and went on to win three Majors in 13 months including back-to-back Open Championships in 2007 and 2008 - shot his lowest ever round as a professional (61) with his new irons at this year's Transitions Championship. A string of other good performances on the PGA Tour have brought alive hopes of featuring in a seventh consecutive Ryder Cup and a fifth victorious European team.

"I do believe I am a better player than I have ever been," said Harrington after narrowly missing out on a fourth Major title at the US Open. "I have learned a lot in the last couple of years and I continue to learn. I'm only disappointed there's not a US Open every week and I'm looking forward to the next couple of Majors."