Paul Lawrie makes comeback at Spanish Open

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Aberdeen golfer Paul Lawrie is back among friends as he makes his comeback at the Spanish Open today.

The 45-year-old has not played since the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the start of February because of a trapped nerve in his neck.

However the former Open champion will return to action this morning alongside two familiar faces.

Lawrie will tee off at 7.30am alongside Jose Maria Olazabal, his captain at the 2012 Ryder Cup, and Sweden’s Robert Karlsson, who he has played alongside three times already this season.

He said: “I am feeling a little bit rusty but the neck is fine. hit a lot of shots on Wednesday with slightly less speed as I don’t want to be going at the ball full tilt just yet. It is a good draw, although it doesn’t bother me who I play with.

“I have played with Robert in three of the four events I have played this year and I know Jose very well and it is always good to play with him.

“My aim this week is just to take it one shot at a time.”

Meanwhile, Pablo Larrazabal has called on everyone involved in the Spanish Open to wear black for today’s first round as a mark of respect to the late Iain McGregor.

Zimbabwean caddie McGregor died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack while working for Scotland’s Alastair Forsyth in the final round of the Madeira Islands Open at Santo da Serra.

Larrazabal was one of many players to criticise the decision to complete the tournament – which had already been reduced to 36 holes due to numerous weather delays – and is trying to organise his own tribute.

Abu Dhabi Championship winner Larrazabal is one of four Spanish players to taste victory on the European Tour this season, with Miguel Angel Jimenez defending his Hong Kong Open title in December, Sergio Garcia winning in Qatar and Alejandro Canizares in Morocco. Garcia is as short as 4-1 to win his second Spanish Open title after finishing third in the Players Championship on Sunday, but France’s Raphael Jacquelin will not be giving up his title without a struggle.