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His motivation was gaining Ryder Cup points. Lawrie hasn’t played for Europe since the team’s loss to the United States in 1999 at Brookline, Mass.

It also left him fresher for his run at three straight links tournaments: the Irish Open, Scottish Open and British Open.

That exposure to the links is paying dividends, with Lawrie’s 65 equaling the score he made in his final round at Royal St. George’s in 1993.

“Let’s hope I can keep going this week,” he said. “But there’s a long way to go.”