Lawrie is hungry to return to the top of the golfing tree
Paul Lawrie believes he can seal a dream return to Europe's Ryder Cup side after a gap of 11 years next autumn.
Qualifying starts in Switzerland on Thursday and Lawrie has been buoyed by coming third at Gleneagles on Sunday.
"I feel the things I'm working on and the way my game is I've got a real chance at making that team," said the 40-year-old former Open champion.
He led by two at halfway and finished three shots behind tournament winner Peter Hedblom of Sweden.
Lawrie won the 1999 Open at Carnoustie, a championship remembered by many for Jean van de Velde's implosion on the final hole.
He was considered by some harsh judges to be a fortunate winner of an event in which strong winds and high scoring were a significant factor, and has not won a tournament since 2002.
But the Scot, the last Briton to win a major, felt he "could have easily won" the Johnnie Walker Championship.
"I've had two short misses with the ball bobbling over the green and I've had two shots rolling over the pin and made bogey off both. That's hard to take," he said.
"But if you're third it's a good week and it was another solid week of ball-striking."
Lawrie is having a week off now and will enter the cup race in Cologne next week. Montgomerie, who partnered Lawrie on his cup debut in 1999, is also missing the European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre, but says he will be watching "avidly" on television.
"I've been watching more golf recently than I have ever done in the past and that will continue to be the case as the race for the Ryder Cup points kicks off," he said.
"I wish everyone attempting to earn a place in my team the very best of luck."
Hedblom is certainly a player in form as the gun goes off in the year-long campaign.
After losing a play-off to England's Simon Dyson at the KLM Open in the Netherlands last week - his fourth sudden-death defeat out of four in his career - the 39-year-old hit back at Gleneagles with a one-shot win over fellow Swede Martin Erlandsson.
From six behind Erlandsson produced a breathtaking 62, the lowest round of his life, but Hedblom birdied the long 16th and parred the last two for his third European Tour win.