Lawrie plays down 1999 similarities
Scotland's Paul Lawrie is in contention at the Open Championships
Former champion Paul Lawrie acknowledges he has given himself the best chance to win The Open since his victory in 1999 but so far he sees no comparisons with that triumph.
The Scot added a one-over 71 to his opening 65 to be four under going into the weekend. He may already be six shots off the lead set by American Brandt Snedeker's impressive 64 but Lawrie knows better than most how quickly things can turn around.
"Not really, because I was well behind," he said when asked whether he could see parallels with 13 years ago at Carnoustie. "Maybe not so much after two days but I was 10 shots back in '99 with a round to go. What am I now, six shots at the moment? So you're looking to claw a few of them back tomorrow and give yourself a chance."
He added: "There's 36 holes to go and obviously Brandt has played phenomenal golf to be 10 under par - that is world class to be fair. You've got to keep going and keep grinding away and keep doing what you're doing.
"Hopefully you have a couple of under-par scores over the weekend and you're in there roughly with a chance. Apart from '99 I've not had any chance to win this tournament (having missed the cut seven times) so to go into the weekend [in contention] it's a good performance again, a nice run, so hopefully I can keep it going."
Snedeker and fellow Americans Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar and Jason Dufner and Australian Adam Scott - who all play the vast majority of their golf on the PGA Tour - are all in the four.
The suggestion has been that a lack of wind and wet fairways and greens have made Royal Lytham more 'Americanised' as it is not playing like a traditional links. Lawrie can see why that the argument has been made but believes the course is still difficult and that any stiffening of the breeze over the weekend will see scores shooting up.
"You're not going to get it any calmer than it has been these first two days," said the 43-year-old. "It would be nice if it blew a little bit over the weekend but this course is so severe you don't want to any windier than what we've had it.
"The course is pretty tough, as you can see by the scores, and I couldn't quite believe that Brandt got to 10 under.
"I think my one-over-par round was a good effort. I wouldn't say there was any hanging on, I played quite nicely and had a few chances and I was disappointed not to get a birdie on 18."